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THE FALL OF 

NAPOLEON 



THE FALL OF 
NAPOLEON 

BY OSCAR BROWNING M.A. 
WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS 



E)NDON: JOHN LANE THE BODLEY HEAD 
■iW YORK: JOHN LANE COMPANY MCMVII 




NAPOLEON ON BOARD THE " BELLEROPHON " AT PLYMOUTH 
(From an engraving in Mr, A. M. Broadleys collection) 



TO 

ADOLPHUS W. WARD 

MASTER OF PETERHOUSE 

HISTORIAN, MAN OF LETTERS 

EDUCATOR, FRIEND 

THIS BOOK IS 

DEDICATED 



ADVERTISEMENT 

THIS book is not intended to be a history of 
Europe between the years 1813 and 1815, It 
is a personal history of Napoleon during that 
period, and European affairs are only intro- 
duced so far as they are necessary for clearness. A vast 
amount of Napoleonic literature has been published 
during the last ten or fifteen years, and with the greater 
part of that literature the present writer claims to be 
acquainted. The result of this has been not only to bring 
to light many facts which were previously unknown, but 
to modify in many respects the judgments passed upon 
Napoleon's actions by competent historians. For instance, 
no action of Napoleon has been more universally con- 
demned than his refusal to accept terms of peace during 
the armistice of 181 3, but the analysis of the policy of 
Metternich made by M. Albert Sorel in his last published 
volume has shown that it would have been impossible for 
Napoleon to have acted otherwise. It is believed that the 
result of these researches now finds place for the first time 
in an English book, and the view of Napoleon's character 
and conduct, which is rather indicated in these pages than 
positively stated, is different to that generally held by 
English historians. For reasons which have been thought 
sufficient, the pages of this book have not been burdened 

vii 



via THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

by foot-notes or references, but a list of the chief authori- 
ties has been placed at the end of each chapter, and a 
bibliography of the works consulted has been added. 
It should be mentioned that the campaign of 1813 has 
been studied by the present writer minutely on the spot. 
The important period between the battle of Waterloo 
and the embarkation of Napoleon on the Northumberland 
has been treated with a fullness which recent investigation 
has made possible, but the deliberations of the English 
Cabinet during this momentous interval still await com- 
plete elucidation. The writer desires to express his warm 
thanks to Mr. Clement Shorter and to Mr. A. M. Broadley 
for their kind encouragement and assistance in preparing 

this volume. 

OSCAR BROWNING. 

March, 1907. 



CONTENTS 



PAGK 

Advertisement vii 

CHAPTER 

I. Return from Russia— Concordat of Fontaine- 

bleau — Defection of Prussia i 

II. The Policy of Austria — Preparations of Napo- 
leon .12 

III. The Battles of Lutzen and Bautzen — The 

Armistice— Austria Declares War . . 21 

IV. Trachenberg— The Battle of Dresden . . 34 

V. Kulm Katzbach and Dennewitz — Napoleon at 

Duben 47 

VI. Leipzig and Hanau 62 

VII. Invasion of France 72 

VIII. Campaign in France— Chatillon .... 86 

IX. Congress of Chatillon 101 

X. The Capture of Paris 116 

XI. The Treaty of Fontainebleau .... 130 

XII. Elba 143 

XIII. The March to Paris 160 

XIV. The Arming of Europe 184 

XV. The Hundred Days ....... 205 

XVI. LlGNY AND QUATRE BRAS 230 

XVII. Waterloo 255 

XVIII. The Abdication 277 

XIX. The Captivity ........ 294 

Bibliography of Works Consulted 317 

Chronological Table 319 

Index 321 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



♦Napoleon on Board the " Bellerophon " 

at Plymouth . . . . . . . » Frontispiece 



♦Napoleon at Work with his Secretaries To face page 

♦The Emperor's Bivouac 

*i8i4 

*Les Adieux de Fontainebleau 

♦The Hermitage of Monserrat 

♦Porto Longone 

♦The Mulini Palace at Porto Ferrajo 

The Defile of Laffray, 7 March, 18 15 

Marie Louise. From an Oil Painting by an 
Unknown Artist 



The Duke of Reichstadt. From an En 
graving by W. Bromley, A.E.R.A., after Sir 
Thomas Lawrence, p.r.a. 



18 
64 
87 
140 
148 
150 
160 
170 

190 

284 



* The Illustrations so marked are from the collection of 

A. M, Broadley, Esq., and are reproduced 

by his kind permission* 



THE FALL OF 
NAPO LEON 



CHAPTER I 

THE RETURN FROM RUSSIA— THE CONCORDAT 
OF FONTAINEBLEAU— THE DEFECTION OF PRUSSIA 

NAPOLEON arrived at the Tuileries from his 
disastrous campaign in Russia at midnight 
on December 18, 1812. On the following 
day he received his ministers and the nobles 
of his Court with dignity and pride. He acknowledged 
that he had suffered greatly in the war, but he complained 
that he had met with exceptionally bad weather. If 
the French army had been punished, the Russian army 
had been punished more severely. He praised the stead- 
fastness of his generals, especially that of Marshal Ney, 
" the bravest of the brave." But he laid the greatest stress 
on the conspiracy of Malet, which had broken out in his 
absence, and which was, to a large extent, the cause of 
his return. If they really believed that he was dead, why 
did they not hasten to the Empress and the King of 
Rome, who were their legitimate sovereigns? At this, 
all looked towards Savary, the Minister of Police, who 
was completely unaware of the conspiracy, and who had 
allowed himself to be surprised. Savary defended himself 



2 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

with courage and boldness, and the Emperor continued 
to show him favour. He then received Cambaceres, the 
hereditary Chancellor of the Empire. He asked him what 
he thought of the catastrophe in Russia, and whether he 
was not surprised at it. He admitted that he was greatly 
surprised. Notwithstanding the well-known uncertainties 
of war, he had never anticipated such a disaster. Napoleon 
threw the blame on the elements, the sudden and extra- 
ordinary cold, and the barbarity of Alexander in burning 
his own towns. He thanked the Chancellor for the zeal 
which he had displayed in the conduct of the government, 
and said that his only want was that of brave soldiers to 
defend the fatherland. He spoke of the personal dangers 
which he had gone through, and those which he still had 
to meet, the necessity of securing the succession of his 
son to the throne, and of the advantage there would be 
in crowning the King of Rome at once, for which there 
were historical precedents. A pageant of this kind would 
impress the imagination of the public, and teach the State 
officials their duty. Only one victim was punished for 
the conspiracy of Malet, Frochot, the Prefect of the Seine. 
He was arraigned before the Conseil d'Etat. 

On December 20, two days after his arrival, the 
Emperor received the high bodies of the State. It was 
an impressive spectacle, accompanied with speeches and 
counter-speeches, calculated to divert attention from the 
Russian disaster. Lacepede, President of the Senate, con- 
gratulated France on the return of Napoleon, because his 
absence was a national misfortune. He supported the 
idea of crowning the King of Rome and taking an oath of 
allegiance to him. Napoleon delivered his answer seated on 
his throne. He said that his first duty was to give France 
peace, and to provide for her internal security. Frochot 
was found guilty, not of high treason, but of want of 
judgment and presence of mind, and deprived of his post. 

Napoleon now attempted . to give substance to his 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 3 

promises by making a permanent settlement with the Pope. 
Pius VII, after having been kept a prisoner for some 
time at Savona, had been, by the orders of Napoleon 
issued from the centre of Poland, brought to Fontaine- 
bleau, where he was treated with great respect, and lodged 
in the same apartment which he had occupied before the 
coronation of Napoleon. Immediately on his arrival at 
Paris Napoleon wrote to him, and expressed his joy at his 
being in good health, his deep respect for him and his 
office, and his desire to arrange the difficulties between 
State and Church. On January I, 1813, the Emperor 
sent a chamberlain to the Pope with his congratulations. 
Cardinal Doria brought the answer, and shortly after- 
wards Duvoisin, Bishop of Nantes, was sent to Fontaine- 
bleau to open negotiations. On January 19, 18 13, the 
Pope was suddenly informed that the Emperor and 
Empress were come to pay him a visit. Napoleon, whom 
he had not seen since the coronation, embraced him and 
called him by the name of Father. The negotiations 
then began. One of the first questions to be settled was 
the place of the Pope's residence. Napoleon would have 
wished the Holy Father to reside in Paris or at St. Denis, 
so as to make France the capital of Catholic Christendom. 
The Pope refused to consider any other alternatives ex- 
cept Rome or Avignon. This matter was the subject of 
long discussion. Napoleon used all the fascination of his 
genius to induce the Pope to surrender Rome, but Pius 
held to his oath to sacrifice no right belonging to the 
Church. Napoleon pointed out that the temporal power 
was an anachronism, that a great revolution had taken 
place ; he, a Corsican, was master of Europe, the Bour- 
bons ruled neither in France, nor in Spain, nor in Italy. 
If only the two mighty forces of Church and State could 
be joined together they might command the world. He 
promised to do more for the Church than Charles the 
Great had ever done. The result of several days' dis- 



4 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

cussion was the conclusion of certain articles as a basis 
of future agreement The Pope declared that these 
articles were only intended as preliminaries, and were 
to be kept secret until they had been ratified by the 
College of Cardinals, Napoleon left Fontainebleau on 
January 25, 1813, and sent his secretary to put the 
articles into form. It is remarkable that the question as 
to whether the seat of the Papacy should be Rome or 
Avignon was left entirely undecided, but Napoleon in- 
tended that the Pope should reside at Avignon. 

The Concordat of Fontainebleau, dated January 25, 181 3, 
consisted of eleven Articles, which provided that the Pope 
is to have the same dignity in France and the kingdom of 
Italy to which he has been hitherto accustomed, and that 
his ambassadors and envoys are to have the same privi- 
leges as the emissaries of other Courts. The domains 
which the Holy Father has in his possession are to be 
held by him without impost, and to be administered by 
his agents. He is to receive a sum of 2,000,000 francs as 
a compensation for those which have been sold. Bishops 
and Archbishops nominated by the Emperor are to be 
instituted by the Pope within six months. If this is not 
done, the institution is to be made by the metropolitan, 
or, failing him, by the oldest bishop in the diocese, so that 
no see can be vacant more than a year. The Pope is to 
nominate ten bishops either in France or the kingdom of 
Italy, to be specified later on. The six suburbicarian 
bishops (those whose sees are in the neighbourhood of 
Rome) are to be restored, and are to be nominated by the 
Pope. They are to keep their present possessions, but 
Anagni and Rieti are eventually to be joined. Bishops of 
the Papal States at present absent from their dioceses 
may be made bishops in partibus. They are to be on the 
same footing as other bishops. Bishoprics in the Genoese 
and Tuscan territories are to be gradually diminished by 
mutual agreement. The Propaganda, the Chief Peniten- 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 5 

tiary, and the Archives are to accompany the Pope wher- 
ever he may be. All cardinals, bishops, priests and laymen 
who have incurred the displeasure of Napoleon are to be 
received again into favour. Finally, these arrangements 
are made in consideration of the present condition of the 
Church and in confidence that the Catholic religion will 
receive the protection of Napoleon. Cardinal Pacca was 
at this time a prisoner in Fenestrelles, but he was suddenly 
released, and reached Fontainebleau on February 17. He 
found the Pope pale, worn, and bent, and much distressed 
at the disgrace which he had been compelled to undergo. 
He said, "These cardinals compelled me to go to the table 
and sign." Napoleon gave handsome presents to the 
cardinals who had brought about the arrangement, ordered 
a Te Deum to be sung in all churches to commemorate 
the peace between the Church and the Empire, and pub- 
lished the Concordat in the Moniteur, although Pius de- 
clared that it ought to have been kept secret. The Articles 
were afterwards brought by Cambaceres before the Senat- 
Conservateur, and declared laws of the empire, although 
the first idea of Napoleon had been that they should not 
be published. 

In the meantime the resistance to Napoleon was grow- 
ing in other parts of Europe. Alexander of Russia, his 
great antagonist, was at this time accompanied by Baron 
Stein, to whom as much as to any one the rising of the 
German nation is to be ascribed. Although Russia was 
determined to avenge the insult which had been cast upon 
her, yet it was not easy to determine precisely what her 
action should be. There were three parties at the Russian 
Court. Kutusov, who received the chief credit for the 
defeat of the French, was old and weak, and was anxious 
to remain in Wilna and to await events, leaving the 
Germans for the present to deal with the French. Some 
wished to join the Germans, in order to drive the French 
over the Rhine, others wished to unite the whole of 



6 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Poland with Russia, but not to cross the Vistula. Stein 
opposed this aggrandizement of Russia, and laboured to 
secure for Germany her old frontiers of the Vosges and 
the Meuse. In a memoir dated November 17, 18 12, he 
called on Alexander to act as the liberator of Germany. 
The suggestion fired the imagination of the Tsar, and he 
determined to undertake the task. He left St. Petersburg, 
and reached Wilna in the middle of December, where he 
greeted Kutusov as the saviour of his country. At this 
time Stein's scheme for the settlement of Germany was a 
partition between Austria and Prussia. Bavaria, Wiirtem- 
berg, and Baden were to be confined to the territories 
which they had before 1802, to preserve their right of 
embassy, but to be considered as vassals of Austria. A 
kingdom of South Germany was to be created under the 
suzerainty of Austria. There was also to be a kingdom of 
North Germany, upon which Hanover, Hesse, and Bruns- 
wick were to be dependent. Switzerland was to enter 
into a federation with Austria. 

Just at this moment the news flashed like lightning 
through Prussia and Germany that General York, who 
commanded a Prussian corps of 30,000 men, had separ- 
ated himself from his commander, the French Marshal 
Macdonald. After the battle of Beresina, Wittgenstein, 
who commanded a Russian corps of 30,000 men, had been 
entrusted with the task of cutting off Macdonald, who was 
now in Kurland. Two-thirds of Macdonald's division 
consisted of Prussians. York, who was commanding the 
vanguard, determined to enter into negotiations with the 
Russian general, Diebich, who had been detailed to cut 
him off. York had endeavoured to obtain instructions 
from the King, but Frederick William was not prepared 
for so sudden a change of policy. Scharnhorst, who was 
the bitterest enemy of the French, had left the Ministry 
and was living in Silesia. Hardenberg tried to steer 
between Scylla and Chary bd is. York was therefore 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 7 

obliged to act on his own responsibility. He contrived 
to have an interview with Diebich on Christmas Day, 

181 2, in which Diebich declared that he was prepared to 
enter into a convention of neutrality. After some delay 
York and Diebich met at the Mill of Poscherun on 
December 30, 1812, and made a convention generally 
known as the Convention of Tauroggen, by which the 
Prussian contingent was declared neutral, and a neutral 
territory assigned to it on the Russian frontiers, in 
Prussian Lithuania. It was agreed that if the convention 
was not ratified by the two sovereigns of Russia and 
Prussia, the Prussian troops should be allowed to retire by 
the shortest route, but were under the obligation not to 
fight against the Russians for two months. Massenbach, 
who was in Tilsit with six battalions of Prussians, was 
ordered by York to retire from that town. The soldiers 
were delighted at the step which York had taken. York 
wrote his justification to the King from Tilsit on January 3, 

181 3, saying that now or never is the moment to recover 
freedom, independence, and power, without great sacri- 
fices, and that the fate of the world lay in the decision of 
the King. 

There can be no doubt that the step taken by York 
contributed largely to the liberation of Germany. His 
name flew like a bale fire from Memel to the Rhine. As 
he advanced against Konigsberg, where Murat was in 
command, the French retired before him. They reached 
the Vistula in the middle of January, 181 3, Ney taking 
charge of the rearguard. The next stand was made in 
Danzig, where General Rapp commanded 25,000 soldiers. 
There were also 10,000 in the fortress of Thorn. There 
were 18,000 French in Berlin under the command of 
Augereau. Pillau was garrisoned by Germans, who sur- 
rendered to the Russians, thus opening to English trade 
the passage into the Frische Haff. The King of Naples 
now retired and was succeeded by Prince Eugene, who 



8 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

reluctantly assumed the command, and remained in 
Posen at the head of 10,000 men. When York marched 
into Konigsberg at the head of his troops, he was accom- 
panied by Stein, who on January 6, 18 13, had been 
empowered by Alexander to offer Prussia assistance in 
the fullest measure for the liberation of Germany. 
Frederick William III was in a great difficulty because he 
was in alliance with France, and yet one of his generals 
had made an alliance with Russia. As we have said, 
Augereau was in command of an army corps in Berlin, 
where fighting took place daily in the streets. The King 
went so far as to say to the French Ambassador, Saint 
Marsan, that he would openly disavow the conduct of 
York, and summon him before a court-martial; but he first 
retired to Breslau, in order that he might act with more 
freedom. France at the time claimed from Prussia a war 
debt of 48,000,000 francs, but Prussia had supplied provi- 
sions to the French army to the value of 94,000,000, so that 
there was a balance on the side of Prussia of 46,000,000. 
The King demanded the payment of this, and also the resti- 
tution of the fortresses of Stettin, Kiistrin, and Glogau. 
He repeated his assurances of fidelity to France, but asked 
for money to maintain 120,000 troops. Hatzfeld was sent 
to Paris to disclaim the action of York, and to exact the 
fulfilment of the other conditions, saying that if these 
were not complied with, Prussia would feel herself free 
from every kind of obligation. Napoleon, however, de- 
layed his reply. 

Stein and Father Arndt, the founder of German gym- 
nastic societies, were now in Konigsberg. They summoned 
a landtag, or parliament, to meet in Konigsberg, some- 
what irregularly, for the right of doing this belonged to 
the King alone. On February 17, an ordinance appeared 
in the Berlin newspapers, announcing that York was 
deprived of his command, and that Kleist was put in 
his place, his troops being added to the forces of Murat. 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 9 

But York refused to obey, and Kleist declined to super- 
sede him. He depended on the previous decree of 
December 20, 18 12, by which he was made Governor of 
Preussen and commander of the Prussian troops. He 
now issued a decree abolishing the continental blockade 
and opening foreign ports for free commerce. The result 
of this was to provide money for his troops. The mer- 
chants of Konigsberg, Memel and Elbing contributed 
500,000 thalers. Stein was the soul of the movement. 
The landtag met under the presidency of York, as repre- 
sentative of the King. It enacted a complete plan of 
national defence, an elite of 13,000 men, a Landwehr of 
20,000 men, and a Landsturm of all males under sixty ; 
also 7000 mounted volunteers, who should arm them- 
selves and be a nursery for officers. These resolutions 
were confirmed by York on February 8. Arndt wrote a 
popular book explaining the organization of the Land- 
wehr and the Landsturm, which, published in Konigsberg, 
flew in thousands of editions throughout Germany. 

Frederick William III reached Breslau on January 25, 
and assembled around him the best men of the country. 
Scharnhorst became Minister of War. Bllicher came to 
the Court. On February 3 a decree was issued, which 
summoned to arms as volunteers the nobles who had 
hitherto been exempt. The King did not expect that 
it would have much effect. A few days afterwards, as 
he and Scharnhorst were standing at a window of the 
Schloss, they heard the noise of rolling wagons. It was 
a string of eighty carriages full of volunteers from Berlin. 
Scharnhorst asked the King if he were now convinced, 
and tears flowed from his eyes. In Berlin 9000 young 
men were enlisted in three days. The King had evi- 
dently made up his mind, but Napoleon still delayed his 
answer. 

The King sent to Alexander, Knesebeck, who opposed 
Stein's policy, because he believed that Stein was working 



io THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

with the Tsar to secure East and West Prussia for Russia. 
Knesebeck was well received. Alexander expressed a 
wish for the entire re-establishment of Prussia in the most 
flourishing condition. Stein insisted that either himself or 
Scharnhorst should be appointed to represent Prussia as 
plenipotentiaries. The King chose Scharnhorst. Stein had 
to hide himself in Breslau in a garret. At last the treaty 
of alliance was signed on February 27 at Breslau by 
Hardenberg and Anstett, and on February 28 at Kalisch 
by Scharnhorst and Kutusov. Its object was to liberate 
first Germany, and then Europe, and to place Prussia in 
the position which she had held before 1806. It repaired 
the humiliation of Tilsit. Alexander bound himself not 
to lay down arms until this object had been accomplished 
politically, geographically, and financially. The posses- 
sions of the House of Hanover were alone excepted from 
the convention. The different countries under Prussia 
were to form an independent monarchy. The Emperor 
was to provide 150,000 men, the King 80,000 troops of 
the line, not counting those employed in garrisons. Both 
monarchs were to act together and to do their best to 
persuade Austria to join them. The Tsar was to use his 
influence to get money and support for Prussia from 
England. The system of the Landwehr, first established 
in Konigsberg, was now extended to the whole kingdom. 
The action of Prussia was certainly bold, as her own 
forces were not developed, and Russia had only 40,000 
men between the Oder and the Elbe to oppose Napoleon 
backed by the united strength of France, Italy, and the 
Confederation of the Rhine. Stein, at a later period, 
looked back with wonder at her courage. 

The Emperor Alexander entered Breslau on March 15, 
18 1 3. His first visit was to Stein, whom he affectionately 
embraced. Hearing that the rents from his estates were 
in arrears he made him a present of 80,000 thalers. 
Events proceeded rapidly. On March 4 the Russians 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON n 

drove the French from Berlin, who retired to Magdeburg 
and Wittenberg. On March 14 the Duke of Mecklenburg 
joined the league. Gneisenau brought promises of help 
from England, with arms, provisions, and clothing for 
20,000 men, and the promise of the possible landing of an 
Anglo-Swedish army. On March 16, 1813, the French 
Ambassador, Saint Marsan, received the Prussian declara- 
tion of war, and on the following day appeared the famous 
appeal of King Frederick William III to his people: 
"Brandenburgers, Prussians, Silesians, Pomeranians, Lithu- 
anians, you know what you have suffered for the last 
seven years, you know what your miserable lot will be if 
the struggle, which now begins, does not end with honour. 
Remember the days of old, the Great Elector, the Great 
Frederick. Remember the advantages for which our fore- 
fathers shed their blood, freedom of conscience, honour, 
independence, commerce, art and science. Think of the 
good example of our powerful allies, the Russians, think 
of the Spaniards, the Portuguese. Even smaller nations 
have entered into a conflict with more powerful enemies 
for similar advantages, and have gained the victory. 
Remember the heroic struggles of the Dutch, and of the 
Swiss. Great sacrifices will be demanded from all classes, 
for our enterprise is great, and the number and resources 
of our enemies are by no means small." 

Authorities. — It is not desirable in a work of this kind either to 
give a complete bibliography of sources, or indicate at the foot of the 
page the authority on which each statement rests. The subject of 
the Fall of Napoleon has occupied the writer's attention for more 
years than he cares to remember, and there are few important books 
on the subject which have not passed through his hands. As special 
authorities for chapter 1 may be mentioned The Moniteur, the 
Napoleon Correspondence, Seeley's Life of Stein, Droysen's Life of 
York, and the Memoirs of Cardinal Pacca. 



CHAPTER II 

THE POLICY OF AUSTRIA— THE PREPARATIONS 
OF NAPOLEON 

A FTER the union between Russia and Prussia had 
/^ been accomplished, the question arose as to 
/ — ^ what attitude would be assumed by Austria. 
JL -JL- The decision depended upon the determina- 
tion of the Emperor Francis, father of Marie Louise, and 
father-in-law of Napoleon and of his Chancellor, Prince 
Clement Wenceslaus Metternich, who played so important 
a part in the reconstruction and government of Europe 
after the fall of Napoleon. In the year 1810 Metternich 
had been sent to Paris in order to penetrate, if possible, the 
designs of Napoleon and to decide upon the attitude of 
Austria. He reported to his master that 181 1 would be a 
year of peace, but that 18 12 would see the expedition to 
Russia, which actually followed. Therefore the attitude of 
Austria must be that of an armed neutrality. If war 
broke out between France and Russia, Austria would hold 
a flanking position, and exercise a preponderating in- 
fluence at the close of the conflict. The Emperor and his 
minister prepared themselves in all secrecy for this eventu- 
ality. The only person taken into their confidence was 
Count Bellegarde, President of the Council of War. 
Napoleon had requested an auxiliary corps of 30,000 
Austrian troops for his Russian expedition, but the Court 
of Vienna maintained its position of armed neutrality. 
After Napoleon's catastrophe, Stein and the Russian 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 13 

Cabinet made overtures to Austria to declare war against 
France, but they received the answer that Austria was 
determined not to be deflected from the course which it 
had chosen, nor to alter its policy for the present. They 
had up to the present moment preserved an attitude of 
armed neutrality. This might be changed in the light of 
new events to an attitude of armed mediation. It now 
indeed became necessary that Austria should arm, it being 
certain that Napoleon would open a campaign in Germany 
in 18 1 3. This arming was proceeded with secretly, and 
Prince Charles Schwarzenberg was made Commander-in- 
Chief. 

In the* meantime Count Bubna was sent as ambassador 
to Paris. Napoleon said to him : " Well ! here we are 
again. You were a little put out by the negotiations at 
Schonbrunn. But what does that matter ? Do you think 
that Metternich will hold firm ? " "I have not a doubt 
of it." "But how about the women — the Empress?" 
"You must have a very false idea of my master, the 
Emperor, if you imagine that women can have any influ- 
ence over his policy." " Is Prince Lichtenstein cold 
towards France? Does Count Wallis wish for war? 
What about Trautmannsdorf? Has Bellegarde become 
Russian?" "Your Majesty, we are all Austrians first, 
and after that any one may be whatever he likes." 
Napoleon remarked, " I will on this occasion give the 
Emperor of Austria a splendid part to play, having so 
often treated him badly." Marie Louise wrote letters to 
her father assuring him of the good-will of Napoleon, but 
it is possible that they were written under the personal 
influence of her imperial husband. 

In the meantime Napoleon continued to work with 
astonishing energy. He expected to have a new army of 
500,000 men in the field. He had doubts of Murat's 
absolute loyalty, and talked of arresting him. Still he 
gave no outward sign of his displeasure. He had reason 



14 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

to be satisfied that his place was taken by Prince Eugene, 
whom he ordered to keep a tight hold on the fortresses of 
the Oder and the Elbe. In three weeks he sent him 
reinforcements of 60,000 men. Francis continued to write 
affectionate letters to his son-in-law. Bubna was ordered 
to propose that Austria should continue faithful to the 
French Alliance, provided that the peace, which Europe 
required above everything else, could be secured. Na- 
poleon despatched Narbonne as ambassador to Vienna, 
who he thought would be a more acceptable plenipoten- 
tiary than Otto. 

Napoleon's chief deficiency at this time was cavalry, 
which had been entirely destroyed in the Russian cam- 
paign. But he was able in a comparatively short time to 
despatch a force of 6000 cavalry to Germany. He made 
efforts to secure the allegiance of the Poles, saying to 
them that if they could not be Poles, the next best thing 
was to be French. A hundred and forty thousand con- 
scripts were anticipated from the levee of 18 14, and those 
who had been exempted in the years 1809, 18 10, 181 1, 
1 81 2, were called under arms. 

Napoleon now took the step of consulting the foremost 
men of his kingdom as to the policy which he should 
pursue. They all urged the necessity of peace — Caulain- 
court, Talleyrand, Cambaceres, Savary, Mollien. Murat 
alone counselled a continuance of the struggle. Napoleon, 
however, was determined not to make peace until the 
honour of France had been avenged. He said the French 
nation must not surrender her glory and her power. He 
explained that he had taken measures for raising 350,000 
men, which, with the conscription of 18 13, would make up 
his number to 500,000. At the same time efforts towards 
peace were to be made. But how ? Caulaincourt was in 
favour of a direct communication with Russia, and he was 
supported by Cambaceres. Maret, Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, was in favour of asking the mediation of Austria, 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 15 

and he was supported by Champagny, Hauterive, Besna- 
diere. This gave a majority for the mediation of Austria. 
But what terms should they offer ? There was no doubt 
as to the terms which Austria would be compelled to ask : 
the dissolution of the Confederation of the Rhine, the inde- 
pendence of Prussia, the dissolution of the Grand Duchy 
of Warsaw, and the surrender of Illyria and Tyrol. But it 
was not likely that Napoleon would grant these terms. 
At the same time he was anxious for peace. Not being 
able with dignity to offer peace himself, he accepted the 
mediation of Austria, and consented to Austria sending 
plenipotentiaries to the English. He told the Emperor 
Francis that he would not now lay down the conditions of 
peace, but that he would never consent to alienate from 
the Imperial crown what had been declared constitutional 
territory by the Senate. Rome, Piedmont, Tuscany, Hol- 
land, and the Hanseatic Departments must remain integral 
parts of the French Empire, never to be severed from it. 
Rome and Hamburg must remain French prefectures. 
He might consent to an aggrandisement of Prussia, but he 
never would allow any territorial increase of Russia. 

Such were Napoleon's views. But how was it possible 
that with such conditions Austria could persuade Russia 
and Prussia to make peace, or bring about a settlement 
between France and England ? At the same time Maret 
wrote to Vienna in a still haughtier tone. The French 
army would reach the number of 1,200,000 men: many 
states hitherto spared would be blotted from the face of 
Europe. Shortly would follow the coronation of the King 
of Rome and the investment of Marie Louise with the 
Regency. 

Napoleon at length gave to Prussia the answer for 
which she was waiting. He said that he had no objection 
to the King retiring to Breslau, but that he could not 
allow him to enter into direct negotiations with Russia, 
or to consent to the neutrality of Silesia, which Russia 



16 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

was certain to ask for. He contested the existence of the 
French debt, and refused to surrender the fortresses on the 
Vistula and the Oder. If Prussia was really his ally she 
could not object to seeing these fortresses in his posses- 
sion ; on the other hand, if Prussia was false, it would be 
madness to give them up. 

It is a remarkable sign of the popularity of Napoleon's 
government at this time that a large force of the cavalry 
which he so much needed was raised by voluntary contri- 
bution. Of the 20,000 men asked for, Paris offered 500, 
Lyons 120, Strasburg 100, Bordeaux 80, Nantes 50, 
Angers 45, Amiens, Marseilles, and Toulouse 50 each, 
Metz, Rennes, and Mainz 25 each. Smaller towns offered 
three, four, or five horsemen, some one only. Nor was 
this generosity confined to France. Rome gave 140, 
Hamburg and Amsterdam 100 each, Genoa 80, Rotter- 
dam 50, Leyden 25, Utrecht 20, Dusseldorf 12. When 
it was found impossible to obtain suitable horses, money 
was contributed instead, which was gratefully received 
by Napoleon. He had determined to impose no new 
taxes. Napoleon was an incomparable financier, as he 
was the greatest of all generals and nearly the greatest 
of all diplomatists. He had accumulated a large treasure 
in the vaults of the Tuileries, and this now stood him 
in good stead. He was very economical, but he could not 
be called stingy, as he conducted his Court with great 
splendour, spent large sums on public buildings in Paris, 
was always ready to contribute munificently to objects of 
science and art. He may be regarded as one of the ablest 
financiers whom history can record. 

In collecting the remains of the army defeated in Russia 
he was well seconded by Kellermann, Duke of Valmy, 
who had commanded over the Rhine provinces from 
Strasburg to Wesel. He sent a daily account of his 
operations to Napoleon. He assembled all the soldiers 
who returned over the Rhine, generally by Mainz, saw 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 17 

with his own eyes to their necessities, provided them with 
shoes and clothes, with arms and officers. The world was 
astonished to see a numerous and well-equipped army 
called into existence from nothing. Pompeius said in 
ancient Rome that he had merely to stamp with his foot 
and soldiers would rise out of the soil. Napoleon and 
Kellermann realized this boast. 

Napoleon opened the Corps L£gislatif on February 14, 
1 81 3, in person. He addressed the deputies in a tone of 
stubborn pride. He spoke of the Concordat which he 
had concluded with the Pope. He said that the French 
dynasty still ruled over Spain and would continue to rule 
there. That he was content with all his allies, that he 
wished for peace, but would consent to no peace that was 
not honourable and consistent with the interests and for- 
tunes of the Empire. He praised the Americans for having 
declared war against England in defence of the principles 
of freedom of commerce. The speech was naturally re- 
ceived with great enthusiasm. 

The result of this uncompromising attitude was that 
Prussia and Russia signed the Treaty of Kalisch on Feb- 
ruary 28, and promised to continue the war until French 
prepotency was broken, and on March 16 Prussia handed 
a declaration of war to the French Ambassador. Colonels 
Tettenborn and Chernichev, with a force of about ten 
thousand Cossacks and some light infantry, attacked 
Liibeck. Soon afterwards Hamburg was evacuated by 
General Carra St. Cyr, much to the indignation of 
Napoleon. A Hamburg legion was formed out of the 
citizens, ships came into the harbour, and the English 
found a market for their coffee, sugar, and cotton. Owing 
to the approach of Wittgenstein, Prince Eugene was forced 
to evacuate Berlin, and Napoleon gave him orders to retire 
behind the Elbe and not to trouble himself about the 
centre of Germany, Dresden, Fulda, Erfurt, Mainz, but 
to cover at all hazards the northern towns, Magdeburg, 
c 



18 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Hanover, Osnabruck, and WeseL In this way he would 
protect the greater part of the course of the Elbe, includ- 
ing Hamburg and Bremen, as well as Holland and West- 
phalia. If the allies attacked by way of Dresden he could 
change his front, and stand with his left at Wittenberg 
and his right at Eisenach, having the Harz in his rear. 
Napoleon would then come himself with 180,000 through 
Hesse or Thuringia, and with the help of Eugene's forces 
cut off the allies from Berlin and the sea, chase them back 
to the Bohemian Mountains, capture Berlin, set free the 
French garrisons of Stettin, Kiistrin, Glogau, Thorn, and 
Danzig, and in one month lead a victorious army to the 
banks of the Vistula. 

Napoleon had completed all his arrangements, including 
an army of reserve, in three months. He had intended to 
have the King of Rome crowned in the winter, as well as 
to invest Marie Louise with the Regency. The first plan 
was given up on the ground of expense. The second was 
carried out with great pomp and ceremony on March 30, 
1 81 3. Cambaceres, the arch-chancellor, was given to her 
as principal adviser. Fouche was not allowed to remain 
in Paris. 

A serious attempt was now made to induce Austria to 
join Prussia and Russia in the league against Napoleon. 
As we have already seen, the alliance of these two latter 
powers dates from February 28, and the declaration of 
war from March 16. On March 25 the two powers issued 
from Kalisch a common appeal to the German people 
announcing their object of setting Germany free from the 
foreign yoke. On April 7, Prince Schwarzenberg arrived 
as Austrian Ambassador in Paris. He was received with 
the greatest distinction. Napoleon assured him that he 
possessed in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain 1,100,000 
or 1,200,000 troops, that he would crush the Russians and 
Prussians, and drive them across the Vistula, that Austria 
had a magnificent opportunity before her by taking the 




NAPOLEON AT WORK WITH HIS SECRETARIES 
(From an engraving in Mr. A. M. Broadley s collection) 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 19 

French side. Schwarzenberg concluded from all this that 
Napoleon was determined to make war, and had no inten- 
tion of peace. He then approached Maret, but found him 
blinded by admiration for the genius of Napoleon. When 
he spoke of the marriage with Marie Louise, Schwarzen- 
berg answered that it was a mere political arrangement, 
a statement which came to Maret as a disagreeable shock. 
It was obvious that Napoleon would yield nothing. His 
intention was to gain a victory or two, and then to dictate 
peace on his own terms. But it was quite clear to the 
piercing vision of Napoleon that Metternich intended to 
join the alliance against him. It would have been far 
better for Austria, as well as more honourable, if she had 
remained true to the French alliance, which could alone 
secure her victory in the contest with Prussia. Attempts 
were made to persuade Frederick August, King of 
Saxony, who had fled from Dresden to Regensburg, to 
accept the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, and to join Austria 
as a mediating party. Similar offers were made to 
Bavaria, which was connected with Napoleon by marriage. 
Wessenberg was sent to London to endeavour to bring 
about a peace between France and England ; and Lebzel- 
tern with a similar mission to Alexander in Breslau : but 
neither had any result. Narbonne, on the other hand, 
who had succeeded Otto at Vienna, answered Metter- 
nich, that the design of the Emperor was to destroy 
Prussia entirely, to place Saxony in her place, and to give 
Silesia to Austria. Metternich repeated to Narbonne 
what he had already said to Otto, that Prussia was a 
better buffer than Poland between Russia and Germany, 
that the confederation of the Rhine could not be main- 
tained, and that it was impossible that Hamburg, Liibeck, 
or Bremen should continue French. England would have 
to be consulted before anything could be determined with 
regard to Holland, Spain, and Italy. Austria would try 
to separate Russia from England, but Napoleon must be 



20 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

prepared to make some sacrifices; all she asked for herself 
was the portion of Galicia which had been taken away in 
1809, and the Illyrian provinces. 

On April 9, Napoleon informed Austria, through Nar- 
bonne, that if she wished for peace she must be in a posi- 
tion to dictate it, that she must have 100,000 men ready 
to throw upon the flank of the allies, and that she must 
occupy Silesia, whilst Napoleon drove the Russians, Prus- 
sians, English, and Swedes across the Vistula. The result 
of this was that Austria renounced the treaty of March 
14, 18 12. Metternich told Narbonne that Austria would 
shortly send 150,000 men into Bohemia, in order to be 
able to fulfil her part of armed mediation ; she would then 
urge the belligerents to agree to an armistice, as a pre- 
paration for a congress. This was a decided step towards 
joining the Alliance against Napoleon, because there was 
no likelihood of his agreeing to a congress, or of offering 
terms which the allies would even discuss. His suggestion 
that Austria should arm had been turned by Metternich 
into a weapon against him. 

Authorities. — In describing the diplomacy of Europe in this and 
the succeeding chapters, I have followed the guidance of M. Albert 
Sorel, a friend of thirty years' standing, now, alas ! lost to science. 
His great work on Europe and the French Revolution places him as 
an historian only second to Taine. The Metternich memoirs have been 
carefully studied, but they must be used with caution. The German 
History of the War, in a number of small volumes, is a sound 
authority, but written in a concentrated and unattractive style. 



CHAPTER III 

THE BATTLES OF LUTZEN AND BAUTZEN—THE 
ARMISTICE— AUSTRIA DECLARES WAR 

UNDER the conditions of the Treaty made with 
Napoleon after the defeat of Jena, Prussia 
was not allowed to have more than 42,000 
men under arms at one time, but by the in- 
genuity of Scharnhorst the valid portion of the nation was 
passed successively under military training, so that the 
number of men capable of bearing arms could not be less 
than 150,000. The equipment necessary for this force 
was either already in existence or could be bought in 
Austria. A great deal of it was supplied from England. 
Field artillery was wanting, but that was gradually pro- 
vided from the armaments of fortresses. The eight fort- 
resses which the Prussians had been allowed to keep were 
carefully armed, and camps were formed in Colberg, 
Pillau, Neisse and Glatz. The contingent provided by 
Prussia for the Russian campaign was of the strength of 
30,000 men, 10,000 of whom had perished in the enter- 
prise. Under these circumstances Prussia, a short time 
after York's defection, was able to set in the field 110,000 
men besides the reserves of the Landwehr and the Land- 
sturm. 

The advance began at the end of March. Blucher, 
starting from Silesia, crossed the Elbe with 35,000 men, 
preceded by General Winzingerode with 13,000 men. 
York, Wittgenstein and Bonstett were posted before 



22 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Magdeburg with a force of 25,000. They were supported 
by Russian detachments under Tettenborn, Diirenburg and 
Chernichev, to the number of 6000 or 7000. The principal 
Russian army, 30,000 strong, was at Kalisch. The French 
fortresses of Danzig, Thorn, Modlin, Zamocz, Stettin, 
Kiistrin, Glogau and Spandau were besieged or block- 
aded. The allies could command about 70,000 men along 
the course of the Elbe from the Bohemian frontier to its 
mouth, but the only town which they possessed on the 
river was Dresden. 

The French held Magdeburg with 50,000 men and also 
Wittenberg. Torgau was occupied by the King of Saxony. 
There was much discussion as to who should command 
the force. Kutusov died on the march on April 29, 18 13. 
Wittgenstein was appointed in his place. 

Napoleon had reached Mainz from Paris on April 17, 
and remained there till April 24. He arrived at Erfurt on 
April 25, and spent there three days of feverish activity. 
He drove to Weimar in a carriage and mounted his horse 
on April 28, came in the dusk of the evening to Eckharts- 
berga, and was busily engaged during the night. He did 
not enter his carriage again till the conclusion of the 
armistice. His army consisted of 150,000 infantry, 8000 
cavalry and 300 guns. His young recruits developed 
with great rapidity. The enemy was superior in cavalry 
and artillery; they had 25,000 horse and 650 guns. The 
Russians may be reckoned as possessing 50,000 infantry, 
the Prussians 46,000. The chief weakness of Napoleon 
was his deficiency in cavalry. He was forced to form his 
young recruits into squares and to depend on their 
solidity, but they surpassed all expectation. Ney wrote 
of them, " These children are heroes. I can do with them 
anything that you command." 

On April 19 Napoleon was able to give the following 
account of the disposition of his forces. Prince Eugene 
had his head-quarters at Bernburg, on the Saale, not far 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 23 

from the point at which that river debouches into the 
Elbe. Davout was in front of Celle, Vandamme in the 
neighbourhood of Bremen. Also the fourth army corps, 
under Bertrand, was advancing on Coburg. Ney was close 
to Erfurt, Marmont at Gotha, Bessieres and the guard at 
Eisenach. Once arrived at Erfurt Napoleon's object was 
to join Prince Eugene, to occupy the line of the Saale 
from Saalfeld to Bernburg, and to deliver Naumburg from 
the attack of the Cossacks. He also wished to recover 
Hamburg, and, finally, to get command of the course of 
the Elbe. 

The first blood was drawn on April 29. On that day, 
at two in the afternoon, Souham engaged Lanskoi, who 
had 6000 infantry under his command, together with 
some cavalry and 12 pieces of cannon. Souham defeated 
him near Weissenfels and got possession of the town. 
The young levies, of which his army was composed, with- 
stood the charges of the cavalry, and showed a spirit and 
enthusiasm which delighted the heart of the Emperor. 
Two hours later Macdonald occupied the town and bridge 
of Merseburg, which was defended by a small body of 
Prussians. The next day Napoleon could announce to 
Cambaceres that the junction between the army of the 
Main and the army of the Elbe was effected. 

On April 30, Napoleon galloped through a heavy rain 
from Naumburg to Weissenfels, where he reconnoitred the 
scene of the previous battle, and passed the night in the 
town. The next day he left at nine in the morning for 
Liitzen, telling Prince Eugene, who was at Merseburg, 
that if he heard the sound of artillery, he was to attack 
the enemy on the right. Unfortunately, this advance was 
accompanied by a serious loss. The first cannon-shot fired 
by the allies struck Marshal Bessieres in the pit of the 
stomach, and he fell dead. Napoleon took care to let 
Marie Louise know that he was not in that part of the 
field where Bessieres was struck. In the evening of the 



24 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

first of May Ney's corps bivouacked in villages which 
have become famous, Gross and Klein Gorschen, Kaja 
and Starsiedel, all in the neighbourhood of Liitzen, and on 
the road from Weissenfels to Leipzig. Eugene was at 
Markrannstadt. 

Wittgenstein now determined to attack the right wing 
of the French as they were on the march, and Napoleon, 
who did not expect to be engaged on May 2, nor in that 
position, had nearly reached Leipzig. Suddenly, about 
eleven o'clock he heard a loud cannonade in the rear of 
his right flank. Marshal Ney had been attacked with 
fury by the Prussians. Napoleon observed for some 
minutes, in silence, the smoke and the distant cannonade, 
and then ordered all his troops to change their line of 
march and to go back to Liitzen. Ney, with his young 
recruits, defended his position bravely, while Napoleon 
hastened to his assistance. He met many wounded on 
the road, and few passed by without saluting him and 
crying, "Vive TEmpereur ! " When he arrived at Kaja, 
Ney was on the point of yielding, and the battle seemed 
to be lost. Many of the French had been killed, and if 
the Prussians could have maintained their onslaught for 
half an hour longer the French line might have been 
broken. Napoleon remained almost the whole day behind 
Kaja with his Old Guard. He exposed himself with 
rashness; bullets fell whistling round him. At last, in 
a final advance, with a marvellous display of personal 
energy, he carried the position, and the battle was won. 

At the close of the day the French were surrounding 
the allied forces in a half moon. It is said that the allies 
did not bring half their troops into action, whereas the 
French used their resources with the greatest ability. The 
battle cost the life of Scharnhorst, and Bliicher was 
wounded in the arm, but did not leave the field. The 
battle, called Liitzen by the French, and Gross-Gorschen 
by the Prussians, was very murderous. The Prussians 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 25 

lost at least 8000 men, the French possibly 15,000, al- 
though Napoleon only admitted the loss of 10,000. The 
battle, although a victory for the French, was not decisive ; 
the losses of the Emperor had been too severe. 

Napoleon pursued the enemy along the route to Dresden, 
passing by Pegau and Borna. He ordered Ney to enter 
Leipzig with pomp, and then to form an army at Witten- 
berg, with which he might march upon Berlin. Napoleon 
entered Dresden on May 8, but he found two arches of 
the well-known bridge blown up by Davout, an act of 
useless vandalism against which he had previously pro- 
tested, and the opposite side of the river occupied by the 
Russians. The city was in profound tranquillity ; by noon 
not a soldier of the allies was to be seen. The last of the 
Cossacks crossed the river on their horses by swimming. 
The Emperor Alexander had left the city in the middle 
of the night, and the King of Prussia in the morning. 

The whole of May 9 was spent by Napoleon in es- 
tablishing a bridge in the neighbourhood of Priestnitz, 
which was sturdily opposed by the Russians. The 
cannonade was very serious. Several bullets and hand- 
grenades fell near him, and a splinter of the powder 
magazine flew near his head. " If it had been my body 
it would have been all over," he said. A grenade fell 
between him and an Italian regiment, twenty paces in the 
rear. They shrunk a little to avoid it, when he cried, 
"Ah! cujoni, non fa male." At last he retired, just in 
time. He then proceeded to restore the old bridge, taking 
an active personal part in the operations. In twenty 
hours the work was completed, and on May 11, at 10 a.m., 
the whole army of Eugene, together with its artillery, was 
able to cross. Napoleon spent nearly the whole day on 
a stone seat, watching them. The King of Saxony 
entered Dresden with great pomp on May 12, bringing 
with him some regiments of cavalry, which were very 
useful to his ally. Napoleon's object at this time was 



26 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

that Ney should release Glogau from siege, occupy Berlin, 
in order to allow Davout to recover Hamburg and to 
march into Pomerania, whilst he himself became master 
of Breslau. Count Bubna was present at Dresden as 
Austrian envoy, and Napoleon became gradually con- 
vinced of the treachery of Metternich. He therefore, by 
means of Caulaincourt, made overtures to Alexander with 
the object of making peace. He wrote to Francis on 
May 17 that he consented to the meeting of a congress, 
for the purpose of securing a general peace, that he would 
admit what he called the " Spanish insurgents " to it, and 
that he would treat without England, if the Powers 
desired it. 

On May 18 Napoleon left Dresden to fight the battle 
of Bautzen. The heat was excessive and the dust stifling. 
Napoleon rode alone in front, absorbed in reflection. He 
passed the night at Harthau, and reached Klein-Forstchen, 
in front of Bautzen, the next day. Here the Russians 
and Prussians had collected a force variously estimated at 
84,000 or 89,000 men. The battle began on May 20 
about noon, and by five o'clock in the afternoon the fight 
became general. Marmont climbed the precipitous cliffs 
which separated the Wendish suburb from the town ; 
Gerard drove back the Prince of Wiirtemberg. The 
battle lasted till nine in the evening, when Napoleon was 
able to take up his head-quarters In the town. He lodged 
in a house at the corner of the market-place, where his 
rooms are still shown, with the bay-window at which he 
stood in consultation with Marshal Ney. On May 21 
the French army found itself on a line of several miles in 
length beyond Bautzen, in presence of the allies, who 
held a still more extended position in front of them. 
Napoleon's plan was to attack the allied left with Oudi- 
not's troops, and to keep them employed until Ney had 
enveloped their right wing. When Ney had asserted his 
superiority on this side, Napoleon would fall upon their 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 27 

centre and destroy them. Napoleon, awaiting the issue 
of Ney's operations, which were to decide the fate of the 
day, was lying on the ground eating his breakfast, when 
the shell of a howitzer burst over his head. He then went 
to a height in front of Nieder Kaina, that he might view 
things more closely, and it is said that from this point he 
sent off a messenger to Marie Louise to announce that he 
Had gained a victory. But the hills, which formed the 
key of the position, had to be taken by the bayonet, after 
a struggle which lasted more than three hours, and a very 
serious loss was the result. The allies were defeated, but 
their retreat is considered a masterly performance. Napo- 
leon suffered greatly from want of cavalry. From his 
chair on the hill of Nieder Kaina he sent infantry to cut 
off the enemy in their retreat, but a very small effect was 
produced. The battle was very murderous, and it is said 
that the French lost more than the allies. 

Before we give an account of the armistice of Pleiswitz, 
so fatal to Napoleon, we must review the policy of Austria 
during the progress of the campaign. As early as the begin- 
ning of February, Metternich had made up his mind to take 
the side of the allies. This was to be effected by offering 
Napoleon terms which it was impossible for him to accept. 
The first terms suggested were that Illyria should be 
given to Austria, the Duchy of Warsaw to Prussia ; the 
Confederation of the Rhine and the Hanse towns should 
be abandoned ; while England would certainly demand 
the surrender of Holland and Spain. At the same time 
Austria withdrew her 30,000 troops which she had given 
to France by the treaty of March 14, 18 12, although 
Metternich and the Emperor were assured by Narbonne 
that Napoleon considered them an integral part of his 
army. By the end of April the alliance between France 
and Austria was at an end. 

It is difficult to define what was precisely the attitude 
of England at this time. The views of the ministry were 



28 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

chiefly fixed on Holland. They cared little about the 
Duchy of Warsaw, the Confederation of the Rhine, or the 
reconstruction of Prussia and Austria. The Mediterranean 
was rendered secure by the fall of Joseph in Spain and of 
Murat in Naples. They occupied Portugal and Sicily, of 
which island Lord William Bentinck was the virtual sove- 
reign. English commerce was expanding on every side. 
Wessenberg, sent from Vienna, could not persuade Castle- 
reagh to accept the Austrian mediation. Jacobi the Prussian 
found a better reception. Prussia was ready to join Russia in 
an alliance with England, and mention was made of a new 
kingdom stretching from the Elbe to the Scheldt, which 
should include Hanover, and be assigned to an English 
Prince, in fact a new kingdom of Austrasia. Both Russia 
and Prussia were subsidized, the latter heavily. 

After Llitzen the whole energy of Metternich was 
thrown into the task of offering to Napoleon conditions 
which he would be unable to accept, thus passing from 
a state of neutrality to one of war by means of an armed 
mediation. On May 7 he instructed Stadion to suggest 
to Alexander the following conditions of peace: the 
suppression of the Duchy of Warsaw, the restitution 
of Austria and Prussia, the surrender by France of her 
territories beyond the Rhine, and of those in Italy, the 
independence of Holland, and the restoration of the 
Pope. These conditions were to be revealed to Napoleon 
gradually, some put forward, others kept in reserve. 
Instead of the eight points contained in Stadion's instruc- 
tions, Metternich only mentioned five to Narbonne, the 
surrender of Warsaw, of the Hanse towns, of Illyria, of 
the Confederation of the Rhine, and the enlargement of 
Prussia. To Bubna, who was sent to Napoleon, he 
reduced the five points to three: the surrender of Warsaw, 
of the Hanse towns, of Illyria, with a good Austrian 
frontier in Italy. He was also to propose an armistice, 
with a view to a future congress to meet at Prague. If 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 29 

Napoleon accepted, Austria would assist him with her 
troops ; if he refused she would declare war against him. 

While the allies before Bautzen were agreeing on the 
larger terms, which Napoleon must refuse, Bubna was 
holding out to him the bait of a continental peace accom- 
panied by much smaller sacrifices, in order to allure him 
into the trap of accepting the mediation and the congress. 
If he rejected this, France would believe that he had 
rejected a moderate peace, which left the Grand Empire 
intact. Napoleon saw clearly the infamous plot which 
Metternich had made for his destruction, but it was 
difficult to meet it. He thought the best course would be 
to throw himself into the arms of Russia, and to conciliate 
Alexander by offering him the Duchy of Warsaw. He 
said to Bubna on May 16, "I will not accept your 
mediation, I will not surrender a single village which has 
been constitutionally joined to France. I do not care for 
my own life or for that of others ; you can only coerce me 
by repeated victories. Perhaps I shall die and my dynasty 
will perish with me. You wish to tear from me. Italy and 
Germany, you wish to dishonour me, sir ; but honour first 
of all, then the wife, then the child, then the dynasty. 
What will become of the child in whose veins flows 
Austrian blood ? What I care most about is the fate of 
the King of Rome; I do not wish to make Austrian blood 
hateful to France. You begin by asking for Illyria, you 
will go on to demand Venice, the Milanese, and Tuscany, 
and you will force me to fight you. You had better begin 
with it at once." In a letter to his father-in-law he said, 
" I am determined to die, if need be, at the head of such 
noble-minded men as France has left, rather than become 
the derision of the English and secure the triumph of my 
enemies." 

He became more and more determined to make peace 
through Alexander. He offered a diminution of the 
Confederation of the Rhine, and the surrender to Prussia 



30 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

of the Duchy of Warsaw, Danzig, and the Vistula, thus 
increasing the population of Prussia by 3,000,000 souls, 
and forming a double buffer between France and Russia. 
Then followed the battle of Bautzen on May 20, which 
was far more disastrous to the allies than Napoleon 
believed. Berlin was threatened, Hamburg recaptured, 
the King of Prussia was lost without the help of the 
Austrians. An armistice alone could save them. Napoleon 
was led to the same conclusion by his want of cavalry and 
his desire to see the effect of Eugene's movements in 
Italy. He was also influenced by his love for his son. 
He could not believe that Austria would abandon this 
scion of the Imperial House, and he recoiled from the fate 
which would befall Astyanax if Priam were destroyed. 
Instead of signing an armistice he should have dealt the 
allies a crushing blow. 

On May 21 Napoleon authorized Caulaincourt to 
propose an armistice with a view to a congress. He 
desired to gain time and to prevent, if possible, a rupture 
with Austria. The commissioners Caulaincourt, Shuvalov, 
and Kleist met at Liegnitz on May 30. Caulaincourt did 
his best to enter into a private conference with Shuvalov, 
and pressed him to make a separate peace, before 
Napoleon's army was doubled in strength. When Metter- 
nich heard of the battle of Bautzen on May 29 he was 
equally anxious to arrest the progress of Napoleon. 
Austria was determined to fight, but it was for her 
interest to gain time. Napoleon suspected that an armis- 
tice would be fatal to him, but nevertheless was anxious 
to conclude it. " I am tired of this negotiation ; try to 
finish it to-day." The armistice was signed at Pleiswitz 
on June 4. Alexander was certain that at the conclusion 
of the armistice he would be joined by Austria. No 
sooner had Napoleon signed the armistice than he re- 
gretted it. At St. Helena he confessed to Gourgaud that 
Soult had rightly advised him not to sign, but that he was 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 31 

forced to do so by Caulaincourt and Berthier. Destiny, 
which had so long been his friend, was now in arms 
against him. 

The armistice once signed, Austria prepared for war. 
A meeting of diplomats assembled at Reichenbach in 
Silesia, which was attended by the representatives of 
England. A treaty was signed between England and 
Prussia on June 14, 181 3, by which Prussia was to receive 
a territory equivalent to what she possessed in 1806; a 
paper currency of 5,000,000 sterling was guaranteed by 
England. Prussia was to place into the field an army of 
80,000 men, for which England was to pay two-thirds 
of a million pounds, and the Duchies of Brunswick and 
Hanover were to be restored. A similar treaty was 
signed by Russia on the following day, England con- 
tributing a subsidy of a million sterling and half a million 
for the use of the Russian fleet. The allies bound them- 
selves not to treat separately with the enemy, or to 
sign any peace terms or conventions except by common 
agreement. 

It was a strange kind of mediation, in which Austria 
could propose nothing to Napoleon to which England did 
not agree. Still she continued to lay down terms as the 
basis of a peace. These were the dissolution of the Duchy 
of Warsaw, the restoration of Prussia, and the cession of 
Danzig, the surrender of the Illyrian provinces to Austria 
and the abandonment of the Hanse towns, especially 
Hamburg and Liibeck. To these were added the disso- 
lution of the Confederation of the Rhine. These proposals 
were illusory if peace could not be made without the 
consent of England, and for fear Napoleon should accept 
the first conditions it was agreed that he should be asked 
to evacuate immediately the fortresses of the Elbe and 
Danzig, to which it was known that he would never agree. 
Metternich assured Alexander that he was quite safe. 
If Napoleon declined the mediation, the armistice would 



32 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

come to an end, and Austria would join the allies : if he 
accepted, other terms would be proposed which he could 
not accept. This would separate him from France, and 
give the impression that he had refused reasonable terms 
of peace, an impression which most historians have adopted 
up to the present day. If Napoleon refused the pre- 
liminary terms, which he was certain to do, Austria was 
to make common cause with Russia and Prussia, which 
included England, and to place in the field an army of 
150,000 men. Metternich had previously informed the 
Emperor Francis that a good peace could only be secured 
in his opinion by the complete liberation of Germany from 
French influence, by the surrender of Venice, Piedmont, 
Tuscany, Rome, Parma, and Naples, by the separation of 
Holland from France, and the restoration of the Bourbons 
in Spain. 

It was under these circumstances that the famous inter- 
view between Metternich and Napoleon took place on 
June 26, at the Marcolini Palace, close to Dresden. It is 
difficult to ascertain what actually took place, because 
Metternich's account is not to be trusted. The principal 
object Metternich had in view was to penetrate Napoleon's 
views and to discover precisely what conditions he was 
certain to refuse. The interview lasted many hours. 
Napoleon said, " In short, you demand Italy, Russia, 
Poland, Prussia, Saxony, England, Holland, and Belgium. 
You are all combining to dismember my Empire. I am 
to evacuate Europe, of which I still hold half; my legions 
must retire without firing a shot behind the Rhine, the 
Alps, and the Pyrenees. How can I meet the French 
people if I consent to do this ? The Emperor is mistaken 
if he supposes that a throne thus mutilated can serve 
as a protection for his daughter and his grandson. Ah ! 
Metternich, how much has England paid you to play this 
part against me?" They parted at length in a friendly 
manner, Napoleon saying, with his hand on Metternich's 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 33 

shoulder, " Do you know what will happen ? You will not 
make war against me." Napoleon had however convinced 
Metternich that the Austrian army was not in a state of 
preparation, and that it was desirable to prolong the 
armistice. Metternich took upon himself to do this, with- 
out informing the allies. On June 30 the convention 
accepting the mediation of Austria was signed by 
Napoleon. A congress of French, Prussian and Austrian 
representatives was to meet at Prague before July 5, and 
the armistice was prolonged till August 10. 

On the evening of the same day Napoleon received the 
news of the loss of Spain. The battle of Vittoria had been 
won on June 21 and the frontier of the Pyrenees was open 
to the English. 

Authorities. — The battlefields of Liitzen and of Bautzen have been 
explored by the present writer. The picturesque and trustworthy- 
narrative of Odeleben has been very useful. The authority of Sorel 
has been followed in the account of the negotiations. Shortly before 
his death Prince Metternich took his son to the Marcolini Palace, to 
show him the scene of the famous interview with Napoleon. What 
passed between father and son was repeated to the present writer on 
the spot. The account of the interview given by Metternich in his 
memoirs must be received with caution. Napoleon's correspondence 
has also been freely used. 



CHAPTER IV 

TRACHENBERG— THE BATTLE OF DRESDEN 

A T this momentous juncture Napoleon undertook a 
/^L journey to Mainz to meet the Empress Marie 

/ — ^k Louise. He left Dresden for this purpose on 
jL JL_ July 24. His objects were to complete his 
preparations, and also to remind the world of his connec- 
tion with Marie Louise and with the Emperor of Austria, 
He reached Mainz on July 26. An eye-witness, Bochen- 
heimer, who wrote a history of Mainz in the years 181 3 and 
1 8 14, gives an account of his proceedings at this time: — 

" It is astonishing how much he did, astonishing how, 
amidst the great pressure of business, he found time to 
give audiences, to review troops, to inspect supplies, fortifi- 
cations, to exercise assembling troops, to issue all neces- 
sary orders. He visited the military hospital and provided 
space for 6000 sick. He even extended his personal care 
to the bakehouses and the commissariat. The neighbour- 
ing Princes, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of 
Baden, the Prince Primate Dalberg, the Grand Duke of 
Hesse, the Duke of Nassau, all came to Mainz to pay 
their respects. Savary intended to come and report upon 
the condition of Paris, but Napoleon would not allow him 
to do so." He says further : " The Emperor appeared 
shortly before his departure at the side of his wife on the 
balcony of the palace. The hour of departure had struck. 
The Emperor embraced and kissed his weeping wife in 
the sight of the Court. The Empress stood there as the 

34 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 35 

Emperor drove by under the balcony on which she was 
placed, on his way to the war." 

The Empress left Mainz on August 2, the day after 
Napoleon's departure. She passed down the Rhine in 
a magnificent yacht, lent to her by the Duke of Nassau. 
She was received in Coblenz with every demonstration of 
honour ; she then continued her journey to Cologne, and 
proceeded by Aix-la-Chapelle, Li6ge, Namur, and Soissons 
to Compiegne. On August 10 she was again in St. Cloud. 
Two days later she wrote to her father : — 

" God grant that there be no war ! I found my son 
very healthy and merry. He can speak a good deal, and 
is very sensible. I cannot remain with him long because 
the Emperor sends me on August 19th to Cherbourg to 
see the new harbour which Napoleon has enlarged." 

In the meantime the allies were assembled at Trachen- 
berg in Silesia, in a castle which now belongs to Prince 
Hatzfeldt. Thither came Bernadotte, now Crown Prince 
of Sweden ; Alexander and Frederick William received 
him like a monarch. He brought with him 25,000 Swedish 
soldiers, all excellent troops. The French detested him, 
and the prisoners of Stettin had fired at him as a deserter 
as he passed under their walls. Another important arrival 
was that of Moreau, who had left the United States on 
June 21, and was now attached to the service of the 
Emperor Alexander. He had always been jealous of 
Napoleon, and had engaged in Royalist conspiracies. For 
this he had been condemned by a council of war, but the 
punishment had been commuted to banishment. 

At Trachenberg, between August 9 and 13, the plan 
of campaign was formed. The first object was to drive 
Napoleon from Dresden. The first army of 250,000 men, 
composed of 130,000 Austrians and 120,000 Prussians and 
Russians, was to operate on Napoleon's flank, under the 
command of an Austrian general. The Silesian army 
under Bliicher, composed of Prussians and Russians in 



36 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

equal number was to march by way of Liegnitz and 
Bautzen direct on Dresden. A third army of 130,000 
under Bernadotte, composed of Swedes, Prussians, 
Russians, Germans, and English, was to march by way of 
Berlin to Magdeburg. The duty of these armies was to 
avoid a direct conflict with Napoleon, to retreat as soon as 
he advanced, to attack one of his lieutenants, whom he 
might have left either in his flank or his rear, to retreat again 
when the Emperor came to his assistance and attack some 
other. When Napoleon had at last been weakened by the 
continuance of these tactics they were to seize a favour- 
able moment to surround him with their superior numbers 
and to crush him. We shall see that the plan proved an 
eventual success. 

We must now turn to the relations between Napoleon 
and the allies. Anstett, the Russian plenipotentiary, and 
Humboldt, the Prussian, arrived at Prague on July 12. 
Their object was to prevent any agreement being reached 
which might involve peace, and to convince Austria of the 
impossibility of any arrangement with Napoleon, so that 
they might declare war against him. Anstett was a 
personal enemy of Napoleon. The Emperor Francis 
was reluctant to declare war against his son-in-law, and 
Metternich had some difficulty in bringing him to the 
point. He endeavoured to familiarize him with the idea 
that, unless Napoleon would agree to a reasonable peace, 
war was inevitable. On July 12, Metternich wrote to his 
sovereign a long memoir arguing the necessity of a solid 
peace as an alternative to war. Napoleon did not sign 
the instructions for Narbonne and Caulaincourt to attend 
the congress till July 18. His desire was to prolong the 
armistice for another month, and he thought that this 
could be done. He would have preferred that the armis- 
tice should be first denounced by Russia and Prussia, 
while negotiations still continued with Austria. He did 
not believe that Austria would denounce the armistice her- 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 37 

self. He would leave an army of observation of 100,000 
men at Dresden, and destroy the Russians and Prussians 
while they were isolated. The instructions drawn up for 
Narbonne and Caulaincourt on July 22 ordered them to 
talk of peace, but to make no concessions. Knowing that 
Austria was false, Napoleon had some hope of concluding 
a satisfactory peace with Russia. At the same time every 
politeness was to be shown to Metternich, in the hope of 
keeping him quiet. These letters were written before 
Napoleon left for Mainz. 

By July 28 Metternich was determined upon war, and 
it only remained to throw the responsibility upon Napoleon. 
This was to be done by concealing from Napoleon the 
real terms agreed upon between Austria, Prussia, and 
England, till the last moment, when it would be impossible 
for him to send an answer. When Napoleon returned to 
Dresden he felt that war was almost inevitable, but he 
was anxious to know what were the actual terms on which 
Austria was ready to preserve her neutrality, and a despatch 
to that effect was written on August 5, which Caulaincourt 
received on August 6. He called on Metternich immedi- 
ately, but found that he had gone out. In the evening he 
met him, and Metternich expressed his doubts as to whether 
matters could possibly be arranged even in five days, and 
there were only four remaining. Two more days were 
wasted in communicating with the Emperor of Austria at 
Brandeis. When Metternich returned to Prague he told 
Caulaincourt that Austria was not yet bound to Russia 
and Prussia, but that she would be if peace were not made 
by August 10. He then in great secrecy enumerated the 
terms, which he was certain that Napoleon would refuse : 
the dissolution of the Duchy of Warsaw, the surrender of 
Hamburg and Liibeck, the dissolution of the Confedera- 
tion of the Rhine, the restoration of Prussia, the cession 
of Illyria, and a universal guarantee. Caulaincourt pressed 
his master to accept these terms, but Humboldt told the 



38 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

King of Prussia that war would be declared whatever 
might be the answer of Napoleon. Caulaincourt's letter 
reached Dresden at 3 p.m. on August 9. Napoleon's . 
answer, to be in time, would have to leave that evening. 
He saw how much the six points now placed before 
him differed from the three points proposed by Bubna. 
He desired time for reflection. He had an interview with 
Bubna, who was at Dresden, and was ready to make large 
sacrifices. " I wish for peace," he said ; " but do not hold 
a knife to my throat." Bubna sent a courier to Metternich 
intimating that peace was possible. Metternich only con- 
cluded from it that it was necessary to increase the ulti- 
matum, and Bubna's hope that Metternich would wait for 
the courier sent to Caulaincourt was illusory. The day of 
August 10 passed without a sign. Towards midnight 
Anstett and Humboldt stood together with their watches 
in their hands, and at the stroke of twelve notified to 
Metternich that their powers were at an end. Metternich 
declared the Congress dissolved, and an hour afterwards 
Humboldt wrote to Hardenberg that Austria had declared 
war against France and that Narbonne had received his 
passport. Bonfires flamed on every height from Prague 
to the frontiers of Silesia to show that the allied armies 
might cross the barrier mountains of Bohemia. Austria 
in deserting Napoleon lost a great opportunity. If she had 
remained faithful to the demands of honour she would 
have had the powerful assistance of a sovereign who never 
betrayed a friend, and the twentieth century would not 
have seen Prussia the mistress of Germany, and Austria 
on the verge of dismemberment. 

War now broke out afresh between France and Prussia. 
For seven years Prussia had suffered under the heel of the 
oppressor. For seven months the huge army of Napoleon 
was passing through her territory for the invasion of 
Russia. All this had left her very poor, but every one 
of her inhabitants rose with spirit and determination to 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 39 

push the claims of national independence. The bold 
action of York and the decisions of Konigsberg flew 
like a fire- signal through the whole of the Prussian 
territory. It is remarkable that schools and universities 
were in the forefront of the movement. It is said that 
Steffens, who was a professor of natural philosophy at 
Breslau, enrolled himself with 200 of his students in the 
army of liberation, and eventually accomplished the march 
to Paris. In a week some 258 students of the University 
of Berlin placed themselves under the banner. In a 
single public school in Berlin 43 enlisted out of the first 
or highest class, 48 out of the second, 34 out of the third, 
19 out of the fourth. From Berlin came also 2739 lawyers 
and judges. The departure of the troops from a town was 
always accompanied by an act of divine service. Schleier- 
macher preached from the text "The blind see, the deaf 
hear, the dead are raised." Those who could not offer 
themselves contributed money. Children emptied their 
money T boxes, girls brought their earrings and other orna- 
ments. Married folks sacrificed their golden wedding 
rings, and used iron rings instead with the inscription 
" gold for iron." One girl sold her long fair locks for six 
shillings to a hairdresser, but the separate hairs were sold 
by auction and produced about fifty pounds. Amongst 
the best-known volunteers was the poet Theodor Korner, 
the author of the tragedy Zriny, remarkable for the fact 
that every single person in it dies before the curtain falls. 
He entered the corps of the " Schwarze Jager " (the Black 
Guides), under the command of Liitzow. Here he found 
Ludwig Friedrich Jahn, " Vater Jahn " as he was called, 
the inventor of German gymnastics. Here also were 
students from the Universities of Berlin, Halle, Jena, 
Gottingen, Greifswald, and Konigsberg, professors, doctors, 
clergymen, men of science, as well as shopkeepers and 
peasants. Korner was the Tyrteus of the situation, and 
inflamed his countrymen with patriotic songs. 



40 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

As the news of the declaration of war by Austria was 
conveyed by beacon lights in the midnight hours of 
August 1 1, from Prague to Silesia, the officers of the three 
armies embraced each other. According to the plan 
which had been drawn up at Trachenberg, there were to 
be three armies operating in three different districts ; the 
army of the north in the neighbourhood of Berlin, the 
army of Silesia in the neighbourhood of Breslau, and the 
army of Bohemia on the Eger. Austria provided 262,000 
troops, one per cent of the whole population, Prussia 
brought 279,000 men, six per cent of its population. The 
three allied sovereigns were to accompany the Austrian 
army, and Prince Schwarzenberg was to command it. 
His principles of war were those which had been first 
laid down by Carnot, and then developed by Napoleon. 
Always attack, but with preponderating force, so as to 
threaten first one point, then another where you are not 
expected. The art of the general is to provide that the 
enemy, wherever he shows himself, shall always find a 
superior force opposed to him. It had also been deter- 
mined in Trachenberg that the three armies should always 
march in converging lines. Napoleon directed his atten- 
tion first to the army of the north. Oudinot, Duke of 
Reggio, was to break into the Mark, drive back the foe, 
occupy Berlin, disarm the population, and scatter the 
Landwehr. Napoleon evidently despised the northern 
army, because he had no confidence in its leader Berna- 
dotte, believing that he would not seriously expose him- 
self to danger, besides being angry at his treachery. The 
result of this was the battle of Gross Beeren, which was 
fought on August 23, 181 3. 

The Emperor Alexander entered Prague on August 1 5 
and was received with great enthusiasm. Certain prin- 
ciples were now laid down with regard to the settlements 
to be made after the war. A distinction was to be drawn 
between territories which had been actually conquered by 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 41 

the French, and those which were forcibly occupied against 
the will of their governors. The* last were to be given 
back to their owners as soon as possible — the first, being 
set free by the operations of the allied forces, might be 
the subject matter for future arrangement. In the first 
category were included (1) The possessions of the House 
of Hanover. (2) The portions of the States of the 
Church which were not mentioned in the treaty of Tolen- 
tino. (3) The inherited possessions of the King of 
Sardinia. (4) The possessions of the House of Orange 
in Germany. (5) The possessions of the Elector of Hesse. 
This cleared the way for the future settlement and avoided 
bickering disputes. At a meeting of the three monarchs 
in Teplitz arrangements were made in more detail ; 
Schwarzenberg was definitely appointed general-in-chief. 
The military operations were divided into campaigns. The 
first was to last from August 17, 18 13, till the arrival of 
the allies at the Rhine ; when this river was reached 
further measures were to be adopted for the prosecution of 
the second campaign. Napoleon divided his army into 
fourteen army corps, which were organized in forty-four 
complete divisions, with the exception of the Imperial 
Guard, which formed four divisions by itself. The cavalry, 
which at the battle of Liitzen was almost entirely wanting, 
now numbered 70,000. Napoleon had under his command 
not less than half a million troops. 

Napoleon's army stretched from Hamburg to the frontier 
of Silesia, from Konigstein to the neighbourhood of 
Berlin. It formed a large net of which Dresden was the 
centre. Napoleon's general plan was to defeat his enemies 
in detail, first the Prussians in the north, then the Russians 
in the east, then the Austrians in the south. After taking 
Berlin and driving back the Russians, he could force the 
Austrians from Bohemia into Moravia and end by dictat- 
ing peace in Vienna. 

The Austrians could approach Dresden by two roads, 



42 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

one on the right, the other on the left bank of the Elbe. 
The defence of the left bank was commanded by St Cyr. 
Two divisions occupied the camp of Pirna, which com- 
manded the road from Bohemia by way of Peterswalde, 
one division protected the bridge across the Elbe which 
protected the fortresses of Kdnigstein and Lilienstein. 
Dresden was occupied by a garrison of 10,000 men. Van- 
damme, however, was in the neighbourhood. Napoleon 
had so arranged matters that if Dresden could hold out 
for a day with its garrison of 10,000, 10,000 more would 
be there on the second day, and 30,000 on the third, and 
in a few days some 70,000, and that eventually 170,000 
men would be in the capital of Saxony. Not less com- 
plete were the defences on the right bank. The defile of 
Zittau was protected by 12,000 men, and 80,000 could 
quickly be got together to resist an invading army. If the 
enemy determined to advance first upon Silesia, they would 
find 250,000 men to meet them on the Bober. Napoleon 
set himself to watch and control these movements. 

On August 15, Napoleon left Dresden to visit his 
eastern divisions. He went to Zittau, and rode a few 
miles into Bohemia, but found no trace of the Austrians 
intending to advance in this direction. On the contrary, 
he discovered, by inquiring of peasants and other persons, 
that the Prussians and Russians had retired from Silesia in 
order to join the operations of the Austrian army. The 
idea occurred to him of marching with 100,000 men from 
Zittau, and intercepting the Prussians and Russians in the 
neighbourhood of Teplitz or Kommotau before they were 
able to join the Austrians. If, however, he were defeated, 
he would have to march back through the defile of Zittau. 
So he thought it preferable to attack them from Dresden 
as they approached on the left bank of the Elbe. Napo- 
leon therefore returned to Zittau on August 19, and 
placed the two corps of Poniatowski and Victor II and 
VIII to defend Zittau, who would be supported by Van- 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 43 

damme. Napoleon at Gorlitz, on August 21, heard that 
the army of Silesia had entered the neutral zone on 
August 15, which was to have been left free till August 17, 
and was now advancing towards the Bober. Napoleon fol- 
lowed Bliicher to punish him for his breach of neutrality. 
He found Macdonald and Marmont already on the Bober, 
one at Lowenberg and the other at Bunzlau. His other 
troops were in greater danger, being on the other side of 
the Katzbach, between Liegnitz and Haynau, threatened 
by the Russians. Napoleon threw bridges across the 
Bober, traversed the river at midday, and drove York 
before him. Bliicher obeyed the order he had received in 
not seeking a fight against Napoleon in person ; he had 
already lost from 2000 to 3000 men. Napoleon retired 
behind the Katzbach, and returned to Dresden. He 
found the capital severely attacked, and the inhabitants in 
despair. The Bohemian army, consisting of 250,000 men, 
had concentrated between Teschen and Kommotau, 
posted on the left bank of the Elbe. The Russians 
followed the road from Peterswalde passing by Pirna ; 
the Prussians under Kleist the road by Teplitz, Zinnwalde, 
and Dippoldiswalde. The Austrians were intending to 
march from Carlsbad by way of Zwickau to Leipzig ; they 
had with them Moreau and Jomini as military advisers. 
The army of Bohemia came into conflict with St. Cyr 
on August 23. As we have said, the road to Dresden was 
defended by the camp of Pirna and by the fortresses of 
Konigstein and Lilienstein, united by a bridge. The 
enemy could not cross the stream. St. Cyr himself retired 
into Dresden with 30,000 men. 

On August 25, 125,000 allies stood before Dresden. 
# A sudden attack might have been successful, but it was 
delayed because Klenau's corps had not reached its posi- 
tion on the left. The allied troops surrounded the Altstadt 
in a half circle from Elbe to Elbe. Napoleon now came 
up with his generals, having marched about ninety miles 



44 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

in three days. He conceived the idea of making the 
allied monarchs prisoners and ending the war, by march- 
ing towards Vienna, and attacking the rear of the enemy 
with 140,000 men. He sent Murat to Dresden to quiet 
the population. But the Royal Family and St. Cyr him- 
self were in great distress. Napoleon begged St. Cyr 
to hold out for forty-eight hours, but he replied that 
he was not sure he could do so. Napoleon then sent 
Gourgaud to get information. This feather-pated person 
reported that the Court and the inhabitants were in great 
trouble, and that the generals had begun to lose their 
nerve ; the Altstadt was being deserted, the King and 
St. Cyr were preparing to move into the Neustadt. 
Gourgaud painted the danger in the darkest colours. 
Napoleon therefore gave up his plan and determined to 
enter Dresden with 100,000 men. He ordered Lauriston 
and Macdonald to drive the Prussians back again over the 
Katzbach, which was done on August 23. Bliicher retired 
to Jauer. 

Giving up his plan of genius, which might have secured 
success, Napoleon ordered Vandamme to move with 
40,000 men to the left bank of the Elbe, to raise the camp 
of Pirna, and to establish himself in the Peterswalde 
road. He galloped to Dresden and entered the city at 
9 a.m. on August 26. He was received with cries of 
" Vive l'Empereur ! ", hastened to the palace to comfort the 
King, and then visited his troops. He was satisfied with 
the precautions already taken by St. Cyr. The allies 
were posted on the heights to the west of Dresden. The 
attack on the town began on August 26, at 3 a.m., under 
Schwarzenberg and Radetzky, who fought almost down to 
our own day. The attack and the defence were both vigor- 
ous : the French boasted that they had killed 4000 of the 
enemy and taken 2000 prisoners. The day ended with 
a great cannonade. Napoleon was very cheerful at the 
royal banquet, and was confident of victory on the morrow. 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 45 

In the afternoon he had carefully observed the topography 
of the town, and taken especial note of the ravine known 
as the Plauensche Grund, well known to all visitors to 
Dresden. This deep cleft made by the little stream of the 
Weisseritz divided the Austrian force into two parts, so 
that if their left was forced into the Grund, the right could 
not come to their assistance. If Murat attacked the 
extreme left of the Austrians with a large force of cavalry 
and a thousand infantry, his approach would be unobserved 
in the general confusion of the battle. After a few hours' 
sleep Napoleon renewed the struggle. Ney was to attack 
the right wing of the allies, Marmont and Victor to give 
the coup de grace on the left. Napoleon had only 1 20,000 
men, the allies had 200,000, of whom 20,000 were before 
Pirna, under Prince Eugene of Wurtemberg. The morning 
of August 27 was misty and rainy. The position of the 
allies was as before ; the Russians, under Barclay de Tolly 
on the right wing, then the Prussians under Kleist, then 
the Austrians under Colloredo and Chastelar, and then the 
rest of the Austrians beyond the Plauensche Grund. 
Heavy fighting took place on the Great Garden, and at 
Strehlen. Victor and Murat began their attack at 1 1 a.m. 
The rain prevented the Austrians from using their muskets, 
and they had to rely on the bayonet : in a short time two 
divisions were entirely defeated. Six thousand men had 
to lay down their arms. Before 2 p.m. Murat had killed 
2000 men and taken 12,000 prisoners. Napoleon con- 
ducted the artillery fire in the centre, and it is said that he 
pointed the gun, the bullet of which gave Moreau his 
death wound, as he stood by the side of Alexander. 
Moreau was in great pain, and could only utter lamenta- 
tions about the good fortune of Napoleon. 

The allies were crushed by three pieces of bad news, 
the death of Moreau, the defeat of the Austrians on the 
Plauensche Grund, and the defeat of Prince Eugene of 
Wurtemberg by Vandamme. They held a council of war. 



46 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

The majority were in favour of continuing the struggle ; 
but Schwarzenberg, distressed at the loss of 20,000 men, 
said that the ammunition train had not arrived and 
declined to go on. Orders were therefore given to retire 
into Bohemia. 

The battle ended at 6 p.m. The allies had suffered a 
serious loss ; they had lost 40 guns, 1 0,000 or n,ooo men 
killed and wounded, 15,000 or 16,000 taken prisoners, 
where the French had only lost 9000. Napoleon had done 
wonders. He had galloped into the town on August 26, 
when the fight had been already raging for some time. 
On August 27 he had been for twelve hours in the midst 
of pouring rain, directing the artillery fire with his own 
hand. When he returned to the Palace he was wet through, 
and blackened by powder. The flaps of his cocked hat 
were turned down over his face to protect him from the 
tempest. He must have looked like a coal-heaver drenched 
in a thunderstorm. He was received with enthusiasm by 
the King and all the Court. Unfortunately it was the last 
smile of good fortune for him. He asked, " Whom did I hit 
of all those distinguished people who were standing around 
Alexander ? " The answer was brought by a dog which 
then entered the room, and on its neck a collar with the 
inscription, a Je suis le chien de Moreau.' > Napoleon 
allowed his soldiers to rest during the night, and wrote 
orders for the operations of the following day. His inten- 
tion was to follow the retreating allies, to cut them off in 
the mountains and the forests, and to destroy them 
entirely. 

Authorities. — Sorel is again followed in the diplomatic negotiations. 
The present writer is intimately acquainted with the battlefields of 
Dresden, Saxony, and the Erzgebirge as far as Teplitz. 



CHAPTER V 

KULM KATZBACH AND DENNEWITZ— NAPOLEON 
AT DUBEN 

jA FTER the battle of Dresden, where were the 
/ ^ allies to reassemble? Schwarzenberg had given 
/ — ^ the command that they should concentrate 
X- JL. at Eger. The retreat was a difficult matter. 
Alexander lost his courage and leant to the opinion that 
Napoleon was so powerful that no one could attack him 
with success. Frederick William III was also in dejection. 
Barclay de Tolly, the Russian general, took a line of his 
own, and instead of retreating by Peterswalde directly 
into Bohemia, chose the road by Dippoldiswalde, saying 
that he had the authority of his Emperor. It was indeed 
difficult for a defeated army of such magnitude to retire 
along a single road. It eventually happened that the 
defeated army proceeded by three roads, the bulk of the 
Russians towards Bohemia by Peterswalde, the Austrians 
and Prussians by Altenberg, Zinnwalde, and Teplitz, and 
the Austrian left wing by Freiberg and Kommotau. The 
French followed the retreating army along these three 
roads, but at a considerable distance, making however a 
number of prisoners. The march began on the morning 
of August 28. The Peterswalde column was commanded 
by the Prince Eugene of Wiirtemberg and Count Oster- 
mann. Vandamme had occupied the plateau of Pirna on 
August 27, and was surprised by the appearance of the 
Russians on the following day, because he knew nothing 
of the battle. Napoleon sent Mortier and St. Cyr, with the 

47 



48 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Young Guard and the 12th corps, to join Vandamme. At 
the same time he despatched Marmont on the road to 
Altenberg, and Murat on the road to Freiberg. 

It is not known whether Napoleon intended merely to 
drive the allies over the mountains, or to attack them in 
the plains beyond. A memoir written by him at this date 
on the situation of his affairs, seems to show that he feared 
to engage himself too much in Bohemia, lest he should 
neglect Bernadotte and Blucher. The desire to seize Berlin 
seems to have haunted his mind. He himself reached 
Pirna about midday, and after dejeuner was seized, it is 
said, with violent pains, owing perhaps to the rain to which 
he had been exposed during the battle. Some, however, 
who were with him do not mention this illness at all. 
He unfortunately determined not to proceed further and 
returned to Dresden, leaving Vandamme without proper 
orders, and without knowledge of his movements. He 
left with Vandamme four divisions of infantry and three 
brigades of cavalry, in all 40,000 men, with which he 
hoped to attack the allies and drive them over the 
mountains. As we have indicated, Mortier and St. Cyr 
were sent to Pirna to meet Vandamme, while Marmont, 
Victor, and Murat were to pursue the enemy, so that 
the French force was overwhelming. On the night of 
August 28 the Emperor Alexander was with Prince 
Schwarzenberg in Altenberg, the King of Prussia was 
at Teplitz with the Emperor of Austria and Prince 
Metternich. Vandamme followed the Russian army by 
Peterswalde and over the pass of Nollendorf, driving them 
like sheep before him to Kulm. The fugitives reached 
that village on August 29, a Sunday morning, while the 
bells were sounding for church. The two bodies of 
pursuers and pursued with all the accompaniments of 
war, the roar of cannon, the order of battle, the bray 
of trumpets, alarmed the peaceful valley. The peasants 
left the church to save their property. 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 49 

At length Ostermann with the Russian guard reached 
some rising ground in the neighbourhood of Priesten, 
where he was able to make a stand. From this place he 
sent urgent messages to the Emperor of Austria and the 
King of Prussia at Teplitz to come to his assistance. He 
had under him only 67,000 men. The King of Prussia 
arrived at midday, and reinforcements gradually came 
up. The battle was of a very irregular description, as 
both sides received additional forces from time to time. 

The Tsar arrived on the field at 2 p.m., as the struggle 
still raged round Priesten. A decisive attack was made 
by the Austrian general, under Ostermann's orders, much 
against his will. He only consented to use the best troops 
of his master on the urgent demand of Prince Eugene of 
Wurtemberg. As he led the attack he was wounded by 
a cannon-ball in the left arm, and carried off the field. 
Priesten was held against the furious onslaught of the 
French. At 6 p.m. Barclay de Tolly made his appearance, 
and a little later, Schwarzenberg. On asking the news he 
was told "Four thousand of the Guards strew the field, 
Ostermann is as good as killed, all is lost." " Does the 
Guard hold firm?" "Yes, sir, it does," was the reply. 
"Then all is well, we shall have success to-morrow." 
Darkness had fallen on the autumn evening. Prince 
Eugene had lost 24,000 men. Vandamme passed the 
night in the Great House at Kulm. 

The morning of Monday, August 30, broke fair. Both 
sides had received reinforcements. Vandamme was ex- 
pecting the arrival of Napoleon, of whose change of plans 
he was ignorant, or at least of St. Cyr. The fortune of 
war now underwent a complete change. Kleist, who had 
attempted to cross the mountain range by the pass of 
Ebersdorf, found it blocked, and, obeying a suggestion 
of the King of Prussia, marched along the side of the 
mountains to the crest of Nollendorf from which he could 
descend to Kulm. The battle began at 8 a.m., and was 

£ 



So THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

hotly contested on both sides. As the sun rose higher, 
the heat became intense. At last cannon was heard on 
the side of Nollendorf. Vandamme at first believed that 
it indicated the arrival of Napoleon, but before long 
he saw the Prussian troops of Kleist descending the 
winding road. He was taken between two fires, and he 
gallantly attempted to cut his way through Kleist's 
division. The Prussians, surprised at their success, cap- 
tured Kulm at the point of the bayonet and entered the 
courtyard of the house which Vandamme had only just 
left. Vandamme, making desperate efforts to drive his 
horse through the swampy ground, was taken prisoner at 
the moment when, with a map in his hand, he was 
planning a retreat through the mountains. 

Two battles were raging at the same time, one in the 
plain for the possession of the village, and one in the hills, 
where the French were trying to force their retreat. 
Corbineau commanded the first with a bandage round his 
wounded head. The combatants fought with bayonet and 
sword, and even with fists. Four thousand French surren- 
dered in the plain. Kulm was set on fire, together with 
Priesten and Karbitz. The loss was very great on both 
sides. The allies had 3319 killed. On the French side, 
seven generals were killed and two taken prisoners. A 
whole corps d'armee was annihilated. The French lost 82 
cannons, 2 eagles, 200 baggage wagons and 10,000 men. 
Vandamme, a colossal figure, without hat or sword, was 
brought before the allied sovereigns by Cossacks and 
Dragoons. He was carried off a prisoner to Moscow. 
This was the turning-point of Napoleon's fortunes. If 
Vandamme had been supported, not only would the allied 
armies have been dispersed, but the allied sovereigns 
would have been captured. They were standing together 
on a hill, now called the Hill of Monarchs, and all Napoleon 
would have had to do, if he had been there, was to surround 
the bottom of the hill, and wait till they came down. 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 51 

The campaign would have been at an end, and peace 
would have been made. Fortune does not offer these 
chances more than once, even to her greatest favourites. 
It can never be decided why Napoleon discontinued his 
advance at Pirna. The action of St. Cyr and Marmont 
was probably hampered by jealousy. Napoleon regarded 
himself as the sport of fate. " Yesterday," he said, " I 
was at the top of the wave ; now I am in the trough. Such 
is the destiny of man." Vandamme was set free in 18 14, 
joined Napoleon in 181 5, was banished, and died in 1830. 

The courier who reached Napoleon at Pirna on 
August 28 brought intelligence of disaster. When Blucher 
heard that Napoleon had retired to Dresden, he deter- 
mined to advance in accordance with the plan arranged at 
Trachenberg. He therefore set out on August 26, the day 
on which Napoleon arrived at Dresden, to attack the 
French on the west of the Katzbach, and Macdonald came 
to meet him. The battle raged round the two rivers, the 
Katzbach and the Wuthende-Neisse, the furious Neisse, 
torrents which have scarcely any water in hot weather, 
but after rain become raging rivers. The Katzbach is a 
tributary of the Oder, into which it falls at Liegnitz. The 
Neisse is a tributary of the Katzbach, and has its origin 
at a spot near the battlefield of Hohenfriedberg. The 
country between the two rivers is hilly. The battle was 
fought in pouring rain, which had continued for three days 
previously. It was very confused, and it is hardly worth 
while to give a detailed account of it. Macdonald scarcely 
knew where Blucher was. The soil was so thoroughly 
soaked that the troops on both sides stuck in the mud as 
they marched, and the greater part of the Prussian Land- 
wehr lost their shoes. A strong north-west wind drove 
into the faces of Bliicher's troops. It was so dark that the 
soldiers could scarcely see a hundred steps before them. 
This was not good weather for fighting ; but Blucher was 
determined on a battle. The engagement began exactly 



52 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

at 2 p.m. Bliicher is said to have waited until a sufficient 
number of the French troops had crossed the Katzbach, 
and then said, " Jetzt habe ich genug Franzosen heruber, 
nun vorwarts " (Now I have enough French across the 
river, so forwards !) From this he received the name of 
Marshal Forwards. Thousands were drowned in the raging 
waters of the Neisse and the Katzbach. Bliicher by his 
personal bravery and vigour worked wonders. 

The result of the battle of the Katzbach was curious. 
Both armies became demoralized owing to the sufferings 
which they had been forced to undergo. The French 
soldiers, who were mostly young troops, deserted, and 
10,000 of them became marauders. Macdonald found 
himself on the Bober with 50,000 dejected soldiers. He 
said that only the Emperor could restore hope to the army. 
In a similar manner a number of the Landwehr deserted to 
their homes, much broken at the hardships which they had 
suffered. Out of 13,319 men, only 6277 remained. Some 
battalions had no more than 100 men. The loss of the 
Silesian army was 12,965 men and 11 19 horses. On 
September 1, Blucher gave his troops a day of rest, fired 
" feux de joie," and held a thanksgiving. He also counted 
up his trophies— 107 cannons, 250 ammunition wagons, 
2 eagles, 18,000 prisoners, amongst whom were 3 generals. 
The loss of the French is reckoned at 30,000. 

The other Job's post which reached Napoleon at Pirna 
was the defeat of Oudinot at Gros Beeren on August 23, 
the merit of which is to be ascribed, not to the Swedes 
under Bernadotte, but to the Prussian Landwehr. When 
the Emperor heard of it, he said, " It is difficult to have 
less head than Oudinot." Ney was ordered to repair 
Oudinot's errors. Ney was greatly admired by Napoleon. 
Born, like Napoleon and Pitt, in ij6g, he entered the 
army as a common soldier in 1781, became an officer in 
1792, Brigadier-General in 1796, General of Division in 
1799, Marshal in 1804, Duke of Elchingen in the same 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 53 

year, Prince de la Moskowa in 181 2. Napoleon called 
him the " Roland of the French army," the " Bravest of 
the Brave." On the retreat from Moscow, Napoleon said 
that he would give two million francs from his treasure in 
the cellars of the Tuileries to save Ney, and at another 
time he said that it was impossible for any two people to 
have more courage than Ney and Murat, that is, physical 
courage. Moral courage, or what Wellington called two 
o'clock in the morning courage, is a different thing. That 
few people possess, Napoleon himself perhaps in the 
highest degree. Few generals, he said, had the courageous 
desire to begin a battle. Desaix he placed in the highest 
rank, in the combination of ability and character. Lannes 
also he praised highly and lamented deeply. He said, " I 
found him a dwarf; when I lost him he was a giant." We 
shall see later that in Ney's courage lay a serious defect ; 
he could second the plans of others, but had not sufficient 
self-control to command alone and to take the lead. 

After the defeat at Gross Beeren, Oudinot had retired 
to Wittenberg. Ney joined him here on September 3, 
and held a review of 65,000 men, including the corps of 
Oudinot, Bertrand and Regnier, and the cavalry of 
Arrighi. On September 6 he determined to advance to 
Dennewitz and attack Biilow. The Prussians were 20,000 
strong, under the command of Biilow and Tauenzien, 
Bernadotte being commander-in-chief. On September 5 
the French attacked at Eupen, driving the Prussians back, 
but the decisive battle took place at Dennewitz the 
following day. The battlefield was composed of a high 
table-land, hilly and sandy, diversified with pine woods 
and marshy meadows, sand holes and dangerous swamps. 
At 9 a.m. Ney gave the signal for attack, the French 
being hidden from their adversaries by a line of hills. 
Tauenzien had already climbed the hill to meet them. 
The Prussians stood firm as a wall, and the battle con- 
tinued thus till 3 p.m. Then the cannon of Biilow were 



54 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

heard approaching ; Tauenzien renewed his attack with 
cavalry. The news of the victory of Bliicher on the 
Katzbach arrived at the moment and inspired the Land- 
wehr. Ney began to realize his danger. At 3 p.m. 
Oudinot approached, and the village of Gohlsdorf was 
taken. The conduct of Bernadotte did not command 
the respect of the Prussians. Ney committed the fault of 
remaining on the right wing, and leaving Oudinot, who had 
command of the left wing, to support the centre. At 
1 p.m. the battle was lost. The Prussian trophies con- 
sisted of four standards, 53 cannon, 100 ammunition 
wagons, 13,000 prisoners. The French loss in dead and 
wounded was 10,000, the Prussian 9000. The Prussians 
maintain that Bernadotte did not advance until the battle 
was won. Biilow begged him to follow the enemy with his 
cavalry. Bernadotte answered, " Tell General Biilow that 
the battle is won, and that I am coming with 48 battalions 
and 100 guns." 

It is hardly worth while now to discuss the vexed 
question of Bernadotte's conduct. There is no doubt that 
he did not display as much zeal as the Germans. It may 
be argued in his defence that his great object was to 
destroy Napoleon, perhaps in order that he might himself 
become Emperor of France. He did not care for the 
aggrandizement either of Prussia or Russia. He had only 
a small army of Swedes, which could easily be destroyed. 
His object was to wear out Napoleon with as little loss as 
possible. The Prussian generals were brave, but knew 
little of scientific warfare. The Prussian army was badly 
formed and badly drilled. Bernadotte said to Moreau, 
" I intend to wage against Napoleon a close methodical 
war. He who saves his soldiers remains the strongest. 
Endurance is the main thing." But he was regarded by 
the Prussians as a traitor. 

The fugitives of the French army fled to Torgau. Ney 
said to General Lapoype in Wittenberg: "I am no longer 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 5§ 

master of the army ; it refuses to obey me, and has dis- 
solved itself." Ney wrote to Napoleon : " I have been 
thoroughly beaten. I do not know whether my army can 
be collected again. Your flank is exposed. Therefore 
take care. I think it is time to leave the Elbe and retreat 
to the Saale." The Berlin magistrates ordered a gold 
medal to be struck in honour of Bernadotte, with the in- 
scription "Conqueror of Dennewitz" He accepted it 
only on the condition that the names of Biilow, Tauen- 
zien, and other generals were placed on the reverse side. 
Biilow would not allow his name to appear. In 1814 he 
was made a Count, with the title Biilow von Dennewitz. 

These three great blows dealt to the power of Napoleon 
strengthened the allies in their plans. The two treaties 
of Teplitz between Russia and Austria, and Russia and 
Prussia respectively, were signed on September 9. They 
confirmed the treaties already concluded by Russia and 
Prussia. They secured the preservation of friendship 
between the sovereigns, the mutual guarantee of each 
others possessions, and common operation for this end, 
the formation of a corps of 60,000 men for mutual assist- 
ance, which would be strengthened in case of need ; an 
obligation not to make either peace or armistice except 
by mutual consent ; the mutual support of envoys and 
ambassadors at foreign courts, and the admission of Powers 
to the alliance who held similar opinions. 

Besides this there were certain separate and secret 
articles which determined the following points : — 

1. The restitution of the Prussian and Austrian monar- 
chies as they were in 1805. 

2. The dissolution of the Confederation of the Rhine, 
the complete and entire independence of the restored 
Austrian Princes of the States lying between the frontier 
of Austria and Prussia, and on the line of the Rhine and 
the Alps. Additional articles further provided that the 
territories in Northern Germany united with France under 



56 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

the name of the 32nd Military Division, and all those in 
Germany occupied by French Princes, should be given up. 

3. Restoration of the House of Brunswick-Luneburg in 
its entire German possessions. 

4. A friendly agreement between Prussia, Russia, and 
Austria as to the Duchy of Warsaw. 

It was further provided that these arrangements should 
not in any way prejudice engagements which they had 
made with other Powers for the same end. This gave full 
scope to the demands of Austria and Sweden. These 
treaties were followed a month later by a treaty between 
Austria and England signed at Teplitz on October 9. 

In the arrangements for the future constitution of 
Germany there was an entire difference of opinion be- 
tween Metternich and Stein. Stein, sprung from an 
ancient line of Imperial counts, desired an Emperor, an 
Imperial army, and an Imperial court of justice. Metter- 
nich and the Emperor Francis preferred a speedy and 
durable peace on the easiest terms. Metternich called 
Stein a Jacobin, Stein called Metternich a sly, cold egoist, 
a calculator without depth, a good book-keeper, but no 
great mathematician, who hoped to regenerate Europe by 
diplomatic arts. On the other hand, Hardenberg and 
Humboldt were against the restoration of an empire, but 
Hardenberg was willing that Austria should recover the 
territory which had been given to Baden. 

Bavaria formed a difficulty from the closeness of its 
relations with France. By French influence it had be- 
come a monarchy of considerable extent, with 4,000,000 
inhabitants. During the armistice the Bavarian army was 
increased to 40,000 men. It was important for the allies 
to secure the adhesion of so powerful a colleague. The 
Emperor Francis wrote to King Maximilian to ask for his 
assistance, and on August 1, 181 3, Alexander I also wrote 
to the King of Bavaria, urging him to desert Napoleon 
and guaranteeing to him the whole of his possessions, as 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 57 

he desired not only to preserve the power of Bavaria, but, 
if necessary, to increase it. At last Bavaria, who had 
always been on the side of Napoleon, was induced to 
change her policy, and the Treaty of Ried was signed on 
October 8, 1813, in which Bavaria was reorganized as 
a completely sovereign state, and entered the coalition 
with equal rights. She gave up to Austria the Tyrol, 
Salzburg, and the so-called Innviertel, but received in 
compensation Wurzburg and Aschaffenburg, and was 
promised the principalities of Anspach and Bayreuth. It 
was necessary that similar terms should be offered to 
Wurtemberg, Baden, and Hesse as a condition of entering 
the coalition, and also to the smaller states of the Rhine 
Confederation. It was no longer possible to think of 
a renewal of the empire, nor of a union between all 
German States. 

Napoleon left Dresden in the evening of September 3, 
and slept among the troops of Mortier, in the neighbour- 
hood of Bischoffswerda. The next day he reached Baut- 
zen. Accompanied by Macdonald, he went to Hochkirch, 
Bliicher, according to the arrangements of Trachenberg, 
retiring before him. Here, overcome by fatigue, he lay 
down, dispirited and weary, on a bundle of straw in a 
farm shed, and abandoned himself to deep thought. His 
generals stood round him in melancholy silence. He gave 
orders for his troops to follow Bliicher as far as Gorlitz, 
and suddenly in the middle of the night returned to 
Dresden. After Napoleon's departure Bliicher returned to 
the attack, while Wittgenstein advanced by way of Peters- 
walde to Pirna, and Schwarzenberg marched at the head 
of 60,000 men by way of Leitmeritz to threaten Napoleon's 
flank. When Bliicher became certain that Napoleon had 
left Silesia, he returned on September 12 to Bautzen, 
and the Bohemian army, when they knew that Napoleon 
was at Dresden, returned to Bohemia. By this stratagem 
of see-saw, Napoleon lost time and ground, and his soldiers 
were wearied out. 



$8 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

A guerilla warfare was waged in Germany in the rear of 
the French, their communications were interrupted, sup- 
plies were destroyed, several detachments carried off, and 
the hatred of the population stimulated against the in- 
vader. More than 10,000 prisoners were taken. On 
September 28 the Russian general, Chernichev, occupied 
Cassel, the capital of the kingdom of Westphalia, and 
drove King Jerome to Wetzlar, upon which his throne was 
declared vacant. The dissolution of the Confederation of 
the Rhine, and of the kingdom of Westphalia, was a 
serious blow to Napoleon's power. 

The smoke of Wittgenstein's artillery could now be seen 
from the steeples of Dresden. Napoleon attacked him on 
September 7, and he retired after a show of resistance. 
But he still held Pirna, while Napoleon established himself 
at Dohna, a short distance off, about ten miles from 
Dresden. On September 9, by the advice of St. Cyr, he 
determined, instead of attacking Wittgenstein at Pirna, 
to march straight on to Teplitz. Wittgenstein performed 
a similar manoeuvre, and the two armies advanced by 
parallel roads. Napoleon slept in the fortress of Kuckuck- 
stein, which lies over the little town of Liebstadt. Lobau 
passed Wittgenstein, and established himself in Peters- 
walde. At last Napoleon reached the summit of the 
Erzgebirge, and looked down upon the allied forces and 
the fatal village of Kulm. The Russians and Prussians 
were drawn up in order of battle. He must have reflected 
how his fortunes would have changed if he had been upon 
that spot a few days before. He saw that an attack was 
impossible, and said to St. Cyr, " I will not attack the 
enemy in this position, but you and Lobau manoeuvre as 
if we were intending to fight." On September 1 1 there 
was a skirmish between the two forces, and on the same 
day Napoleon retired to Breitenau, where he slept in the 
priest's house, and then to Dresden. Lobau received 
orders to hold the Pirna road as far as Peterswalde, but 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 59 

was attacked by the Russians coming over the pass of 
Nollendorf. The allies now received the comforting news 
of the victory of Dennewitz. On September 1 5 Napoleon 
again left Dresden with his guards, and ordered Lobau to 
recover his lost position. On the following day the French 
again advanced to Peterswalde and a Colonel Bliicher was 
taken prisoner. Napoleon asked him, "How many soldiers 
has your King (of Prussia) ? " Bliicher answered, " As many 
as he has faithful subjects." On the evening of Septem- 
ber 16 Napoleon again arrived at Nollendorf, to reconnoitre 
the position of the enemy. As the weather was dull he 
slept at Peterswalde. On September 17 he was a third 
time at Nollendorf, that prominent height crowned by 
a picturesque chapel, and, descending the hill, attacked the 
enemy. The battle began at 11 a.m., on much the same 
ground as the battle of Kulm. After a severe struggle 
the Austrians claimed the victory, but the battle was put 
an end to by a heavy rain and a thunderstorm. The 
fighting continued for several days without any decisive 
result, but on September 21, Napoleon was back again in 
Dresden. Three weeks had been lost in useless marches. 

Shortly after this the position of Napoleon in Dresden 
became untenable. Saxony was exhausted, and the army 
had no provisions. The great Bohemian army marched 
through the Saxon Erzgebirge on September 27. 
Bliicher, advancing from Silesia, crossed the Elbe; the 
army of the North also crossed the same river by Roslau, 
near Comnitz and Wittenberg. A portion of the French 
army left Dresden at the end of September. Murat was 
sent to oppose the army of Bohemia on October 3. At 
last, on October 7, Napoleon, accompanied by the King 
of Saxony, left Dresden for good, St Cyr remaining 
behind with 20,000 men. The King proceeded to Leipzig, 
Napoleon to Diiben. No spot connected with Napoleon's 
fortunes is more picturesque than this simple old castle, 
which overhangs the waters of the Mulde. Napoleon 



60 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

remained here for three days, not being able to make up 
his mind whether he should attack Bliicher and Bernadotte 
on the north, whether he should by a stroke of genius 
collect his garrisons from the fortresses of the Elbe and 
the Oder, and attack the enemy in the rear, or whether by 
a hasty movement towards Leipzig he should crush the 
Russians and Austrians before they had time properly to 
unite, and before they could be joined by the Prussians, 
Deep are the emotions of one who visits the scene of this 
momentous decision. An inscription on a small stone, 
hidden by bushes, on the cliff overlooking the river, 
designates the spot on which Napoleon stood when he 
harangued his passing troops. We may dismiss, if not as 
fable, certainly as an exaggeration, the account given by 
Caulaincourt of the marshals rebelling against Napoleon's 
plan of marching to Berlin, but his personal recollections 
are perhaps more trustworthy. After waiting all day to 
see the Emperor, who was alone in his cabinet, he asked 
for admission and received no reply. The night was dark 
and cold, the wind howled through the passages, and 
shook the windows in their leaden frames. At last, at 
midnight, he was admitted. He found his master lying on 
a sofa, a table at his side covered with maps and papers. 
His eyes were dim and fixed, and he seemed to be suffer- 
ing under deep affliction. At last he rose from the sofa, 
paced two or three times up and down the room, and said, 
" All is lost ! I am vainly contending against Fate. The 
French people do not know how to bear reverse." Odele- 
ben, a less imaginative character, says of the same period, 
that he saw the Emperor, when he was waiting for news 
from the Elbe, totally unemployed, seated on a sofa in his 
room, near a large table ; before him lay a sheet of white 
paper on which he was scrawling large letters : his geo- 
grapher d'Albe and another secretary were in a corner 
of the room, equally unoccupied with himself, awaiting 
orders. How different this from the man who said at 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 6\ 

Passariano, " I may lose a battle, but I will never lose a 
minute." 

We now approach the battle of Leipzig, the Battle of 
the Nations rightly so called. The eagles of Napoleon 
were followed by Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, Belgians, 
Dutch, Swiss, Poles and Germans. Against Napoleon 
fought Germans, Slavs, Hungarians, North Germans, 
Swedes, English, also Bashkirs and Kalmucks armed with 
bow and arrow. 

As to the numbers which fought at Leipzig, there are 
different accounts. Napoleon probably had 200,000 men 
and 750 guns. The allies had a larger number. The 
weather was very bad. It rained hard as the soldiers 
slept on the battlefield. A cold wind swept over these 
upland plains. The soldiers made barriers of dead bodies 
against the wind. Napoleon pitched his tent in a disused 
quarry. All sides fought with the greatest energy. Mar- 
mont gives as his personal recollections : — 

" My chief of the staff and the under chief were killed 
at my side, four adjutants were killed, wounded, or taken 
prisoners. For myself, I received a musket-shot in my 
hand, a contusion in my left arm, a ball through my hat, 
one through my clothes; four horses were killed under me. 
Of the servants in my suite, two were wounded and three 
were killed. The soldiers surpassed themselves in energy 
and courage. I never felt so proud of my soldiers as I 
did on that day." 

Authorities. — The battle of Kulm, the turning-point of the cam- 
paign, has not received from historians the attention which it deserves. 
The topography of the battle, which includes the most picturesque 
portion of the Erzgebirge, amply repays minute investigation. The 
best account of the battle is by Aster. The old castle of Duben also 
repays a visit, the spot where the balance of Napoleon's fortunes 
wavered a moment, and then turned against him. 



CHAPTER VI 

LEIPZIG AND HASSAU 

BETWEEN the 14th and the 20th of October, 
18 1 3, a number of battles and engagements 
took place, which are known by the collective 
name of the Battle of Leipzig. This name is 
in some ways misleading. The engagement of the 14th 
was what may be called a recognizance battle. It was 
fought in order that the Bohemian army might obtain 
information about the strength of the army of Murat, and 
that it might ascertain whether he intended to stand his 
ground or to retreat. The 16th was occupied by the battle 
of Wachau, which was the principal battle by which the 
fate of Germany was determined. There took place at 
the same time the engagements of Connewitz and Lin- 
denau, which served to distract the attention of Napoleon 
from the main struggle. More important was the battle 
fought on the other side of Leipzig, at Moeckern. The 
fact that Marmont's army was engaged at Moeckern by 
the united forces of Blucher and Bernadotte prevented the 
battle of Wachau from being decisive, and indeed ren- 
dered Napoleon's final defeat a mere question of time. 
So convinced was Napoleon of this that he employed the 
17th in negotiations which he must have known would be 
fruitless. The battle of the 18th was fought only to cover 
Napoleon's retreat. He fought it in the position of a lion 
at bay; his despatching Bertrand to Weissenfels on the 
morning of that day shows that he entertained no hope of 
a successful issue. On October 18, Napoleon stood com- 

62 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 63 

pletely surrounded by his enemies. The battle of the 
19th was a battle of the rear-guard, in which Napoleon 
sacrificed a certain portion of his troops in order to save 
the rest. 

Napoleon left Diiben at 7 a.m. on October 14, and rode 
towards Leipzig. At 1 1 a.m. was heard a loud cannonade 
to the south of the city, which showed that Murat was 
engaged with the army of Bohemia. The wind brought 
the sound of the artillery very closely, so that Napoleon 
hastened his advance. He entered the town at midday, 
accompanied by some battalions of the Old Guard, and by 
some of the cavalry of the Guard. He rode in by the 
Halle Gate, round the promenade, and out by the northern 
Grimma Gate, and just beyond this he stopped at the spot 
where the old gallows used to stand, now marked by four 
pieces of stone. Here he spread out his plans on a table, 
and received the reports of Murat's battle, which was 
proceeding all the time. The weather was cold and stormy, 
so a large fire was lighted, at which Napoleon warmed him- 
self, often kicking the logs with his feet, as his habit was. 
A cloth was being spread for his dinner when a long line 
of carriages approached under military escort. It was 
the King of Saxony with his wife and daughter coming 
from Taucha. The King of Saxony left his carriage and 
came to meet Napoleon, who on his side advanced to 
salute the Queen. The King mounted his horse and rode 
into the town, while Napoleon gave orders to Marmont to 
meet the advance of the armies of Silesia and the North, 
and directed the heads of the other columns as they 
arrived towards Liebertwolkwitz. About 4 p.m. Napoleon 
and his suite mounted their horses and rode to Reudnitz, 
where a lodging had been prepared for him in the house 
of the banker Vetter. 

The battle of the 14th was principally a cavalry engage- 
ment for the possession of Liebertwolkwitz, which was 
taken and retaken several times. The losses were about 



64 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

equal on either side, and were considerable for an engage- 
ment of that kind. It was put an end to at about 5 p.m. 
by the falling rain. Napoleon had intended in the first 
instance to fight the decisive battle on the 15th, but his 
troops had not arrived, so that he was unfortunately obliged 
to defer it for a day. The 16th was a Saturday, cold and 
misty. The battle began by ah advance of the allied 
troops, and by a cannonade directed by Prince Eugene of 
Wurtemberg. This was replied to by the French, and the 
Russians lost heavily. The allies attacked the position of 
the French in three columns. Kleist marched with 10,000 
Prussians and Russians against Markleeberg, Prince Eugene 
attacked Wachau, whilst Klenau made for Liebertwolk- 
witz. The allies had 68,000 men in reserve. Their line 
was very much extended, so that the separate columns had 
little communication with each other. Napoleon reached 
the battlefield at about 9 a.m. and took up his position on 
the Galgenberg, the Gallows Hill, from which he had a 
view of the whole field. Murat pointed out to him the 
columns of the enemy as they advanced. He examined 
them carefully, and then mounting his horse rode a little 
to the rear. Some cannon-balls from the Russian batteries 
passed over the heads of the Emperor's suite. A little 
after nine the Emperors of Russia and Austria and the 
King of Prussia took up their position on the Wachberg, 
between Guldengossa and Gohren. Three chairs were 
brought from the inn of Gohren, and on these the three 
monarchs took their seats to watch the battle, which 
could easily be seen from that point. The Emperor of 
Russia observed immediately the great mistake which 
Schwartzenberg had made in posting the Austrian troops 
between the two rivers, the Pleisse and the Elster ; he tried 
to remedy it, but it was too late. On the whole the attack 
of the allies was successful, and the French troops were, 
about 10 a.m., driven behind Wachau. 

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THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 65 

the offensive. His battalions advanced to the storm of 
Wachau. Prince Eugene held his ground with noble 
courage : the village was taken and retaken five times, but 
Liebertwolkwitz was lost by Klenau, and Markleeberg by 
Kleist. By midday the allies had lost all the advantage of 
their morning's victories. Napoleon now determined to 
attack the centre of the enemy with a large force of 
cavalry. If this were successful, Marshal Victor and 
General Lauriston were to support the attack with infantry, 
while Marshals Mortier and Macdonald were to envelope 
the right of the allies. The object of this manoeuvre was 
to force the allies back from their right, to break through 
their centre, either to divide them or to drive them into 
the Pleisse, or to compel them to repass the Pleisse 
and the Elster under fire, and to cut them off from their 
base of operations. Napoleon did not know that the 
centre which he proposed to attack was being strengthened 
by the approach of reserves. The cavalry destined for 
the charge consisted of 45 regiments, in all 12,000 sabres, 
formed in four squares. Advancing at full speed, they were 
to crush everything which came in their way. At 2 p,m. 
there reigned an uncanny stillness, which was suddenly 
broken by the sound of trumpets. The two divisions of 
cavalry were commanded by Murat and Kellermann, the 
latter charging on the left, the King of Naples on the centre 
towards Guldengossa. The earth resounded under the 
hoofs of this mighty mass, and shook beneath its weight. 
A regiment of Russian infantry which stood in their way 
was ridden down, and 300 of them were left dead on the 
field. It happened, however, that just in front of Gulden- 
gossa, and the hill on which the three sovereigns were 
collected with their staff, there ran a small ravine con- 
nected with some ponds. Schwarzenberg, who was an 
accomplished cavalry officer, did not lose his presence of 
mind. Observing the French, he said, " They are out 
of breath ; when they reach this spot they will be ex- 



66 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

hausted." The French were now only a hundred yards 
from the hill ; Schwarzenberg begged the sovereigns to 
retire while he drew his sword, and rushed into the battle. 
The monarchs mounted their horses and galloped away, 
only just escaping capture. The French cavalry now 
reached the ditch ; some leapt it and galloped into 
Guldengossa, others fell into it. The strength of the 
charge was broken ; as the rear rank halted they were 
attacked by the Russian cuirassiers on their flank, as well 
as by a Russian battery which had been despatched by the 
Emperor Alexander. Murat's cavalry was compelled to 
retire, and sought a refuge behind the squares of the 
infantry. Napoleon had sent a message to the King of 
Saxony to say that the day was won, and to order all the 
bells to ring for the victory. They sounded, however, for 
his defeat. 

Napoleon, on the defeat of his cavalry, did not give up 
his efforts to break the centre of the enemy, but pressed 
again forwards. In a pause of the attack the sound of 
artillery was heard on the other side of Leipzig. It was 
the cannonade of Bliicher, who was attacking Marmont in 
the direction of Moeckern. Napoleon now knew that 
Marmont was fully occupied, and that no reinforcements 
could be expected from that quarter. The second attack 
on Guldengossa was more violent than the first, but the 
forces of resistance were so carefully disposed that it was 
repulsed. The French broke up and retired in great dis- 
order ; they had to content themselves with firing upon 
the village with sharpshooters and artillery, which lasted 
till 9 p.m. The failure of this attack shattered Napoleon's 
plans ; victory was wrested from his hands. He had 
spent his last strength, and had no reserve from which 
to supply his losses. In the meantime, to the north of 
Leipzig, Marmont and Ney had withstood the onslaught 
of Bliicher, Marmont having 20,000 men and Ney 36,000. 
Their duty was to keep Leipzig in the possession of the 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 67 

French, and to guard the roads from Eilenberg and Dliben. 
Marmont had been ordered at eight o'clock in the morning 
to join Napoleon on the southern battlefield, and to leave 
the defence of Leipzig to Ney. He was, however, afraid 
to obey, because he knew that the troops which he left 
behind were not sufficient for the purpose ; but he could 
not help himself. Ney also was ordered to send two bodies 
of troops to Liebertwolkwitz ; he went there, but returned. 
Both marshals saw that their presence was necessary to 
resist the whole army of Silesia which they now had before 
them. He therefore returned to Moeckern, but could not 
hold it against the furious attack of Bliicher. By nightfall 
they were all scattered and took refuge in Gohlis. Bliicher 
was able to spend the night in Moeckern. 

During the battle General Meerveldt had been taken 
prisoner by the French owing to his being short-sighted. 
At 2 p.m. he was brought into the presence of Napoleon, 
who asked him how strong the allied army was. Meer- 
veldt replied that it was more than 350,000 men. Napoleon 
then asked whether the allies knew that he was there, and 
whether they would attack him on the morrow. To these 
questions Meerveldt replied in the affirmative. Napoleon 
asked, "Shall this war last for ever? It is surely time to 
put an end to it. Austria should speak the word of peace, 
and not listen to Russia, because Russia is under the in- 
fluence of England, and England wishes for war. He was 
ready to make great sacrifices." Meerveldt replied that 
the Emperor Francis could not separate himself from his 
allies, that England desired equilibrium in Europe without 
the predominance of France. Napoleon said, " Let England 
give me back my islands, I will restore Hanover and re- 
establish the Hanseatic towns, and also restore Holland," 
but he would not give up the protectorate of Germany, 
nor would he consent to the dismemberment of Italy. 
Meerveldt told him that Bavaria was entirely lost to his 
cause ; he remarked that she would repent it. He then 



68 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

proposed that an emissary should be sent to treat for 
peace: an armistice could then be concluded, Napoleon 
would retire behind the Saale, the Russians and Prussians 
behind the Elbe, while the Austrians would retire to 
Bohemia. Saxony should remain neutral. Meerveldt 
observed that the allies would never agree to these condi- 
tions, and would not leave Saxony, even if they could not 
succeed in driving Napoleon over the Rhine. Napoleon 
said that to effect that he would have to lose another 
battle, and that the battle was not yet lost ; he then dis- 
missed Meerveldt with a letter to the Emperor Francis. 
The Emperor was very glad to see Meerveldt again 
because he thought that he was dead, but he said that 
he could only speak to him in the presence of his allies, 
and they refused to enter into any further negotiation. 

October 17 was Sunday. Napoleon remained the whole 
day in his tent, but he summoned Maret from Leipzig, 
probably to confer with him about his conversation with 
Meerveldt. It is said that he was advised either to fight on 
the 17th or to retreat; it is probable that Napoleon remained 
inactive, in order to see what answer he would receive from 
Meerveldt. At night he had an attack of illness, and said to 
Caulaincourt, " I feel very unwell ; my mind bears up, but 
my body sinks." Notwithstanding this he prepared for the 
battle which was to cover his retreat. At 2 a.m. he left 
his night quarters at Stoetteritz, and drove out to Prob- 
stheida. Having superintended the concentration of his 
army, and the destruction of useless ammunition at that 
place, he drove to his old quarters at Reudnitz, which were 
occupied by Marshal Ney. He found Ney and his suite 
fast asleep. At 5 a.m. he drove from Reudnitz through 
Leipzig, where he examined the arrangements for the 
retreat. He reached Stoetteritz again at 8 a.m. Napoleon 
occupied a position in the very centre of his enemies, 
which makes the battle of Leipzig differ from all other 
battles of modern times. In the early part of the day, 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 69 

from daybreak up to 2 p.m., the army of Bohemia gradually 
advanced and drove back the French from their positions. 
In the meantime the army of Silesia was attacking Ney, 
and the army of the North, under Bernadotte, was gradu- 
ally coming into action. At about 3 p.m. a great shock 
was given to Napoleon, and a great encouragement to the 
allies, by the Saxon troops, about three thousand strong, 
going over to the enemy. Napoleon attributed his defeat 
to this desertion, but it is certain that it had little influence 
upon the result of the day. At about the same time the 
Northern army, under the command of the Crown Prince 
of Sweden, entered upon the field of battle. There was 
also a body of English rocketeers, under Captain Bogue, 
who was killed by the French sharpshooters, and is now 
buried in the churchyard of Taucha. 

Napoleon had ordered the retreat of his army at 1 1 a.m., 
and Bertrand superintended the departure of all non- 
combatants. At 5 p.m. the first bodies of cavalry began 
to leave the field. Napoleon, who was resting in a tobacco 
mill, was so tired that he fell asleep. When he woke he 
sent a message to the King of Saxony to say that he was 
sorry he could not visit him. At 6.30 p.m. the Emperor 
left his bivouac in complete darkness, and took up his 
quarters in the Hotel de Prusse in the Ross Platz, accom- 
panied by Murat. At 2 a.m. on the 19th the French 
withdrew from Probstheida, and had entirely evacuated 
that village by 3 a.m. They left Stoetteritz at the same 
time, but placed a small body of troops behind both posi- 
tions. They also deserted Connewitz in a similar manner, 
favoured by the mist. Napoleon worked hard in the 
Hotel de Prusse. He cleared Lindenau for the passage of 
the retreating army, and ordered three bridges to be thrown 
over the Pleisse, but apparently none over the Elster ; he 
also ordered the bridge over the Elster to be mined, in 
order that it might be blown up if necessary. He sent 
messages to Dresden, to Magdeburg, and to his brother in 



;o THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Westphalia to prepare them for his retreat. He also 
spent much time in the internal affairs of France, and 
only towards morning allowed himself to take a little 
rest. 

The retreat of the French army continued during the 
whole night. The allies attacked and stormed the 
suburbs of the city between 8 a.m. and 1 1 a.m. At about 
9 a.m. Napoleon left the Hotel de Prusse and rode to the 
house in which the King of Saxony was lodging. Accom- 
panied by the King of Naples, he conversed with the 
King and Queen for some time, and it is believed that he 
told them that he was only leaving Leipzig for a short 
time in order to manoeuvre, and would soon return. At 
9.30 a.m. Napoleon took leave of the King, mounted his 
horse, and rode to the battalion of the Saxon Guard. As 
he went away he called to them, " Gardez bien votre roi." 
By his side rode Murat, and behind him Berthier and 
Caulaincourt, with other marshals and generals. He 
seemed to be very much depressed. With great diffi- 
culty he left Leipzig by the Peter's Gate. Even then 
it took him a whole hour to reach the final exit from 
the town. When he arrived at Lindenau he went into 
the mill there with Murat, and stayed till three in the 
afternoon. There Macdonald joined him, and there he 
heard of the death of Poniatowski. He remained with 
the army and passed the night at Markrannstadt. 

The allies entered Leipzig at midday, and were received 
with acclamation by the inhabitants. Poniatowski was 
drowned in attempting to cross the Pleisse. The King of 
Saxony was placed under arrest. At half-past two the 
conquest of the city was complete, and by four o'clock 
no more Frenchmen were to be seen. An hour after 
Napoleon had taken leave of the King of Saxony on 
October 19, the allied sovereigns entered the market-place. 
The King stood at the window to see them pass, but they 
took no notice of him. The three monarchs then met to 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 71 

decide his fate and it was determined to send him to Berlin. 
Metternich was deputed to convey to him their resolution, 
and he has left us an account of the interview. 

Napoleon retreated slowly to Weissenfels. He was so 
apprehensive of attack that he gave orders for the drums 
to be beaten and the trumpets blown during the whole 
night, that the allies might believe that he was preparing 
to resist. At Erfurt he rested two days for the repose of 
his troops. He found that he was in command of 80,000 
men. On the road to Frankfort the French were inter- 
cepted by a force of 27,000 Bavarians and 25,000 Aus- 
trians, and continued combats took place which lasted for 
four days, from October 28 to October 31. The Bavarians 
were beaten at Hanau mainly because they fought on the 
wrong side of the Kinzig, and when defeated were driven 
into the river. They should either have met the French 
in the depths of the forest, or should have awaited them 
to attack behind the stream. Napoleon reached Frankfort 
in the afternoon of October 31, and Mainz on November 2. 
This was at that time a French town. The Emperor 
Alexander entered Frankfort a fortnight later, on 
November 15, and was followed two days later by the 
Emperor Francis, and then by the King of Prussia. 
Germany might now consider herself liberated from the 
government of .Napoleon, and the first portion of the war 
was at an end. 

Authorities. — The work of Aster on the battle of Leipzig has never 
been superseded. The present writer made a minute examination of 
the battlefield some years ago, when it was but little altered, and the 
Denkmaler were still standing. Commerce and industry obliterate the 
scars of the most sanguinary war. The field of Hanau is but little 
changed. 



CHAPTER VII 

THE INVASION OF FRANCE 

jA FTER the battle of Hanau, Napoleon stayed for 
/ m a s k° rt t * me * n Frankfort in the house of the 
/ — ^ rich merchant Simon Moritz Bethmann. As 
JL JBl. he sat at table with his host in company with 
Berthier and Maret, he asked Bethmann whether he had 
heard any special account about the late battle of Leipzig. 
He replied that he had only read the Emperor's bulletin. 
Napoleon said, " Oh ! the bulletin is quite true : or do you 
believe that I lie? I should not dare to give a false 
military account, for every corporal would correct me. 
I beat the allies. They were strong, but the Bavarians 
called me back. I will never forgive them, neither them 
nor the Saxons. As for the others, Wurtemberg for 
example, they follow the stream. Yes, the Confederation 
of the Rhine is over. I will have nothing more to do with 
it. It was a piece of bad political calculation to call it 
into existence." He then proceeded to describe the con- 
tinental system as a chimera; he could not understand why 
he had set so much value on it. " I will never return to it. 
But they must not suppose that my finances will suffer in 
consequence. I possess three milliards. You know the 
cellar where I kept my private treasure — more than eighty 
millions in bullion. Is not it true, Duke of Bassano ?" 
Maret made a low bow. " I have a million soldiers ; 
France will not suffer me to conclude a bad peace. But 
we can reach a good peace only with moderation on the 
part of the allies, not otherwise." 

72 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 73 

These words were obviously said with the intention of 
being repeated to the distinguished persons who frequented 
Bethmann's house. The surrender of the Confederation 
of the Rhine was a capitulation to Germany, the giving 
up of the continental system a capitulation to England ; 
it destroyed the reasons for the French possession of 
Holland and of the mouth of the Elbe, and also over the 
coasts of Spain and Italy. 

We have already seen that in the Treaty of Teplitz of 
September 9, Russia, Prussia, and Austria entered into a 
mutual agreement to obtain by arms the dissolution of the 
Confederation of the Rhine, and the absolute independence 
of the states lying between Prussia and Austria on the one 
hand, and the Rhine and the Alps on the other. The Rhine 
was fixed as the first limit of these operations. This goal 
was now attained. Metternich's view was that a new nego- 
tiation must be undertaken, as the objects of the existing 
compact had been accomplished, and it was not in the 
interests of Austria to go any further. England was at 
this time not averse to peace. The losses imposed by the 
continental system and the huge subsidies paid to foreign 
Powers had exhausted her funds and her patience, and 
for many years the Opposition had set themselves against 
the war. England was at this time represented at the 
Court of Vienna by a young Lord Aberdeen, whom 
Metternich called an "unlicked whelp." He was now 
with the invading army, but he spoke no language but his 
own. Metternich talked to him in French while he answered 
in English. On October 17, in the middle of the battle of 
Leipzig, Napoleon, as we have seen, had made certain pro- 
positions for peace to the Austrian General Meerveldt,who 
had been taken prisoner. Metternich was determined to 
take them up, and he used for the purpose, as we have 
already said, the Baron St. Aignan, a brother-in-law of 
Caulaincourt. Aberdeen agreed with Metternich, the 
Emperor Alexander gave his consent, and a meeting was 



74 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

held in Meiningen on October 29, between Metternich, 
Alexander, and Aberdeen, for the discussion of the answer 
they should send to Napoleon. It was determined to lay 
down as a basis of peace the so-called " natural frontiers," 
the Alps, the Rhine, and the Pyrenees, a phrase of very 
uncertain meaning, and at the same time to issue a 
manifesto to the French people, stating the real objects of 
the war. Both the sending of envoys and the publication 
of the manifesto should take place before the allies arrived 
in France. The Rhine was not to be crossed at once, but 
only the fortresses besieged. If Napoleon would not 
accept the proposals, war would be declared against him 
to the knife, and his refusal would be made widely known 
in France. 

At the beginning of November the scene was removed 
to Frankfort. There were collected in that city Francis I 
and Metternich, Alexander and Nesselrode, Duka, Wol- 
konsky, Hardenberg, Humboldt, and Knesebeck, also 
Stadion, Metternich's predecessor, who had originally 
formed the coalition, and Pozzo di Borgo, who had a 
Corsican vendetta against Napoleon, and last but not 
least, Stein, now in the service of Russia, and chief 
administrator of the conquered territories. England was 
represented by Lords Cathcart and Aberdeen, and by 
General Stewart, the brother of Lord Castlereagh. Of 
these, Aberdeen had statesmanship but no experience, the 
other two neither statesmanship nor experience. Their 
general feeling, as publicly expressed, was rather in favour 
of peace. Alexander and Metternich were the most 
prominent of the group ; and the Emperor Francis kept 
in the background. Alexander called Metternich the 
Prime Minister of the Coalition. He was an experienced 
diplomatist, full of energy and industry, with a talent and 
a disposition for intrigue, but he had no extended know- 
ledge of history or politics, and no exalted ideas. He 
might be called the " Virtuoso of opportunism" Stadion 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 75 

was more trustworthy, and Humboldt more profound, but 
Metternich was more energetic and pushful. Hardenberg 
was a moderator, Nesselrode a person of no importance. 
Alexander was not very prudent or circumspect. He was 
apt possibly to forget, certainly to deny, what he had 
previously said. He had a childish devotion to his tutor 
Laharpe, and was much under the influence of Stein and 
Czartoryski. He was a high-minded, lovable, and en- 
thusiastic, but not a very strong character. Metternich 
had great trouble with him. 

St. Aignan was ordered to report to his sovereign in 
answer to the proposition made to Meerveldt that France 
must content herself with her " natural " boundaries, and 
give up all idea of supremacy in Germany, Italy, Spain, 
and Holland : that if Napoleon would accept these pre- 
liminaries of a general peace, England would make 
sacrifices in the direction of free shipping trade, and that 
a place could be declared neutral, on the right bank of the 
Rhine, where the representatives of the Powers might 
meet, without stopping the operations of war. This last 
point was considered of importance. Metternich did not 
believe that Napoleon would seriously accept these pro- 
posals, and ordered that all military preparations should 
be proceeded with. Metternich was certainly not opposed 
to the invasion of France. Schwarzenberg was more 
averse to it than Metternich, but he allowed himself to be 
led by Radetzky, who shared the military enthusiasm of 
the Prussian generals. 

A plan of campaign had now to be decided upon. On 
November 7 two views were brought forward by Gneisenau 
and Radetzky. Gneisenau wished to cross the Rhine at 
once. Schwarzenberg with the chief army between Mainz 
and Strasburg was to threaten the fortresses of Landau and 
Huningen, Blucher to operate in the direction of Maes- 
tricht, to attack the fortresses of Holland, Belgium, and 
France, and to bring about the defection of Holland. If 



76 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Switzerland declared for the allies, and if they had troops 
enough, an army might march into Franche Comte. This 
would aim a serious blow at the moral force of France. 
The Austrian plan was to give the troops a fortnight's 
rest. Then on November 20 the chief army (155,000 
strong) was to march by Offenburg and Basel, to Berne, 
and in the middle of December by Lausanne and Geneva 
into France. Blucher's army (107,000 strong) was to cross 
the Rhine at Bonn and Cologne, march to Maestricht, 
and " turn " Holland so as to allow Bernadotte to conquer 
that country. The South German army under Wrede 
(100,000 strong) was to form a link between Schwarzen- 
berg and Blucher, and to protect the middle Rhine. It 
might cross the Rhine, but its principal duty was to 
defend Germany. Biilow at Coblenz was to unite Blucher 
and Wrede. If the Elbe fortresses fell, Beningsen, now 
besieging Magdeburg, was to reinforce Bernadotte ; Tauen- 
zien, before Torgau, was to reinforce Blucher. The Italian 
army (68,000 strong) was to press onwards over Turin to 
join the chief army. 

These propositions were discussed in Metternich's apart- 
ments on November 9, Hardenberg being present. It was 
eventually determined that the chief army should advance 
to the left, pass over the Rhine, penetrate into the interior of 
France, and give the hand to Wellington and to the army 
of Italy ; that Blucher was not to go to Holland, but to 
the right over the Rhine, and occupy the enemy till the 
chief army had done its work. The conquest of Holland 
was to be left to Bernadotte, while Blucher's army was 
recalled from the lower Rhine, and the Austrians began 
to march towards Switzerland. But on November 13, 
Frederick William III arrived at Frankfort. He declared 
himself entirely opposed to the passage of the Rhine. The 
allies had nothing to do with the left bank. Repose was 
necessary ; which indeed was true, as the armies were in 
a terrible condition. The King of Prussia was supported 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 77 

in this view by the Russian generals, who did not desire 
to continue the war. So the operations were stopped and 
they waited for the result of St. Aignan's mission. 

Although Metternich was in favour of crossing the Rhine 
his views must not be confounded with those of the Prus- 
sian patriots, Gneisenau, Blucher, and Stein, whom he 
styled " German Jacobins." Gneisenau had written after 
the battle of Leipzig to Princess Louise that the greatest 
joy of life is to gratify your revenge on an overbearing 
enemy. Metternich had no such feelings, but he had a 
firm conviction that Napoleon would never make peace 
until he was compelled to do so by force of arms, and 
that this could only be accomplished by crossing the 
Rhine. He wrote to Caulaincourt on November 20: 
" Napoleon will make no peace, of that I am convinced, 
though nothing would make me happier than to find that 
I am mistaken." St. Aignan's answer came in a letter 
from Maret, saying that Napoleon desired peace on the 
basis of the independence of nations, and suggesting 
Mannheim as the place of congress — Maret said after- 
wards that in his original draft, he had accepted the 
conditions, but that Napoleon had struck the words out. 
Rightly enough ; for what did they mean ? 

The next duty of Metternich was to draw up the 
manifesto to the French people, which was distributed on 
the left bank of the Rhine in thousands of copies. Metter- 
nich tells us that nothing had ever given him so much 
trouble, and its composition was praised by Napoleon, 
who said that it showed Metternich's knowledge of the 
French character. It stated that the allies were unani- 
mously agreed as to the power and even the preponder- 
ance which France ought to possess by confining herself 
to her natural limits, the Rhine, the Alps, and the 
Pyrenees. They do not make war against France, but 
against the preponderance which, unfortunately for 
Europe and France, Napoleon has too long exercised 



78 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

beyond the limits of his empire. These sovereigns desire 
that France shall be great, strong, and happy. The allied 
Powers offer to the French empire an extent of territory 
which she has never known under her kings. The first 
use which the allies had made of their victory was to offer 
peace to the French Government. 

Up to the present moment Alexander had profited by 
the great war. He had gained a slice of Prussia in 1807, a 
portion of Austria in 1809, Swedish Finland in the same 
year, and Turkish Bessarabia in 181 1. It was now clear 
that he wished for the whole of Poland, united with Russia 
in a personal union. In August, 18 13, Napoleon had said 
to Bubna, " If I did not exist, France would not be 
dangerous for Germany, as the French are not of a war- 
like disposition : it is I who urge them to it. Your real 
danger is from Russia/' It is obvious therefore that 
Austria feared the aggrandizement of Russia ; not only 
for the loss of Galicia but for the safety of its whole 
empire. The Poles were naturally anxious for the con- 
tinuance of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, even under the 
sovereignty of Russia. Metternich therefore wished for 
peace with France because he thought that the end of the 
Convention of Teplitz was now attained, and he feared the 
effect of conquests beyond the Rhine on the balance of 
power in Europe. At the same time he was convinced 
that Napoleon would not yield except to compulsion. At 
this time Maret was replaced by Caulaincourt. It was 
generally believed in Paris that Maret, Bertrand, and 
Cafarelli were in favour of war, Cambaceres, Talleyrand, 
and Caulaincourt in favour of peace. Still more, on 
December 2, Napoleon sent a courier to Frankfort with 
a despatch in which he told Metternich that he would 
accept the conditions mentioned to St. Aignan if only 
England would make it possible to conclude a general 
and honourable peace, founded on the balance of power in 
Europe, on the integrity of nations within their natural 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 79 

boundaries, and on the absolute independence of all states, 
without any form of supremacy by land or sea. Metternich 
was much surprised by this letter, which he received on 
December 5, and he thought that the desired result was 
nearly attained. He also thought it showed that Napoleon 
was deeply depressed ; he therefore determined to go on 
with the war, and at the same time to begin negotiations 
for peace. Pozzo di Borgo was sent to London to induce 
either Wellesley or Canning to join in the negotiation. 
He wanted one plenipotentiary instead of three. Stewart 
wished for his brother Castlereagh, who eventually came. 

On December 7 the Austrians determined to occupy 
Switzerland as a base of operations against France. The 
chief army was to assemble by the end of January between 
Yverdun, Berne, Solothurn, and Basle and to march on 
Langres. Bliicher was to protect Germany, but was allowed 
to cross the Rhine. Wrede was to cover the right flank 
of the chief army, and Bulow to continue the conquest of 
Holland. The main army was to cross the Rhine at Basel 
on December 19. Switzerland was enjoying a constitution 
which had been given her by Napoleon, and, although the 
Swiss were strictly neutral, they were friendly to France. 
The Austrians therefore thought it most important to 
occupy Switzerland before they invaded France, and the 
Prussians and English agreed with them. Suddenly 
Alexander declared himself opposed to all violation of 
Swiss neutrality. This may have been due, as we have 
before remarked, to the influence of Laharpe. He went 
so far as to say that he should regard the occupation of 
Switzerland as a declaration of war against Russia. This 
nearly stopped operations altogether. But on December 21 
the Austrians crossed the Rhine at Basel, Laufenburg, 
and ScharThausen, and marched unopposed to Berne and 
the western passes, while Bubna occupied Geneva. By 
December 28 the chief army held all the Jura passes 
towards France, and in the first week in January reached 



So THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Besancon and Belfort, protected on their left by Bubna, 
who was marching from Geneva to Dole, and on their right 
by Wrede, who advanced by Hiiningen. Alexander was 
very angry at these proceedings. Bernadotte contented 
himself with operations against Denmark, and on January 
14, in the Treaty of Kiel, Denmark renounced the posses- 
sion of Norway. 

Napoleon arrived at St. Cloud on the evening of 
November 9, 181 3, and found there Marie Louise and the 
King of Rome. He had left 170,000 well-appointed 
soldiers in the fortresses of the Elbe. The princes of the 
Confederation of the Rhine sent ambassadors to Frankfort 
where the allied sovereigns had appointed representatives. 
In one day they signed twenty-three treaties with the 
smaller German princes. They had now to determine on 
their future policy. Stein would have nothing short of the 
overthrow of Napoleon. Metternich would have been 
contented to leave him on the throne and to confine the 
French power to the Rhine. He wanted a counterpoise 
to the threatening supremacy of Russia. Blucher was 
longing to enter Paris as a conqueror. At last they deter- 
mined on the invasion of France, as the beginning of 
their second enterprise. 

Napoleon was indeed in terrible difficulties, and it is 
instructive to see what means this great man employed to 
rescue himself. Maret was unpopular in France, and he 
was thought to be too much in favour of war, and not tc 
have done his best to secure peace at the Congress oi 
Prague. He was therefore, as we have said, dismissed 
from his position, and his place was taken by Caulaincourt 
who had always been in favour of peace. The next ster. 
was to send the Pope back from Fontainebleau to Savona 
The next difficulty was Spain. Ferdinand VII had beer 
for the last six years a prisoner in the Chateau of Valencay 
Napoleon now conceived the idea of making peace witl 
him and sending him back to his country. The term 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 81 

suggested were the return of Ferdinand to Madrid, the 
surrender of prisoners, and the departure of the English. 
Besides this he should undertake the payment of a pension 
to his father, Charles IV. He should grant an amnesty 
to the Josefinos, as the partisans of the French were 
called, and Spain was to promise not to surrender any 
of her colonies to England ; it was also proposed that 
Ferdinand VII should marry a daughter of Joseph 
Bonaparte. Ferdinand was ready to accept all these con- 
ditions except the marriage. The treaty was signed on 
December 1 1, 1813. Joseph, who was a prisoner at Morte- 
fontaine, heard nothing about the treaty until it was 
concluded. 

Before we approach the campaign of 1814 in France, we 
must review the gradual crumbling of Napoleon's empire 
in other parts of Europe. When the armistice of 18 13 
came to an end Prince Eugene had been ordered to attack 
Austria with 80,000 men from Carniola, and if possible to 
press on to Vienna. Eugene had his head-quarters in 
Gorz, and his army extended from Trieste, beyond 
Laibach to Villach. He was opposed by Hiller, who had 
his head-quarters in Klagenfurth. Eugene did his best to 
defend the French cause, but after a long struggle in an 
obscure part of Europe, he was obliged gradually to retire 
until the Austrians came into possession of Friuli and the 
so-called Italian Tyrol. By the end of October Eugene 
had no fortified positions on the left bank of the Adige, 
except Venice, Palmanova, Osoppo, and the forts of 
Trieste. At the beginning of November Venice was 
blockaded, Trieste capitulated, and Eugene was compelled 
to retire to Verona. Similarly the Northern Tyrol set 
itself free and returned to the allegiance of Austria. 

Murat, King of Naples, had fought bravely at Leipzig, 
but when he took leave of Napoleon at Erfurt it was seen 
that he meditated treachery. He returned to Naples with 
the determination to desert Napoleon, to go over to the 

G 



82 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

allies, and to gain for himself the whole of Italy up to 
the Po. The English, however, refused to have anything 
to do with him: Lord William Bentinck declined to receive 
his envoys, and called him General Murat, not king. The 
allied sovereigns were not so particular, and in January, 
1 8 14, sent General Neipperg to Naples to conclude an 
offensive and defensive alliance. Murat signed the treaty 
on January 11, and wrote to Kaiser Franz. A few days 
later he marched with his army against Ancona and 
Rome. In the beginning of February he stood on the 
south of the Po, where he was to join Bellegarde in march- 
ing against Eugene. His wife Caroline, sister of Napoleon, 
had the meanness to approve of his treachery. She had 
indeed more spirit than her husband, and urged him on 
like Lady Macbeth. Caroline seized the principalities of 
Pontecorvo and Benevento, laid an embargo on all French 
ships in Neapolitan harbours, turned all French out of the 
country, and forbade all intercourse with France. Murat 
himself hindered more than he helped. The English now 
agreed to confirm what the Austrians had done with 
Murat, provided that he gave substantial proofs of his 
honesty. Murat wavered anew. He hoped to become 
king of a united Italy, and entered into communication 
with Eugene. Caroline was so disgusted that she 
threatened to leave her husband and set up for herself. 
Thus affairs continued until Napoleon had abdicated and 
Eugene had made terms with the allies in Mantua. 
Napoleon was so enraged that he could not bear to hear 
Murat's name mentioned. 

Another blow for Napoleon was the loss of Holland. 
After the battle of Leipzig, English emissaries went to 
Holland to rouse the population in favour of the House 
of Orange, and hold troops in readiness to send thither. 
At the same time Bernadotte was urged by the allies to 
employ the army of the North in liberating Hamburg, 
Bremen and Amsterdam. Bernadotte, however, took his 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 83 

troops into Holstein in order to force Denmark to sur- 
render Norway and Sweden, Instead of attacking Davout 
in Hamburg, he made a treaty with him which left him 
free to spare 40,000 men for the defence of Holland. 
England and Austria did not approve of these measures, 
and Bernadotte was ordered to give up the command of 
the 80,000 troops which he had under him. Alexander, 
however, took his part, as he was anxious to gain posses- 
sion of Finland. Bulow was now ordered to march into 
Holland, and he sent Major Friccius to East Friesland to 
capture that territory for Prussia. 

Billow, in conjunction with Prussia and Russia, attacked 
Holland ; Molitor defended it, having under him 600 
French gens d'armes, 500 Swiss, 800 Russians, 600 
Austrians and 600 Prussians, on none of whom could he 
depend. On November 15, 18 13, the insurgents entered 
Amsterdam and the people rose; and in Leyden,the Hague, 
Rotterdam and Utrecht, they did the same. The Prince of 
Orange landed at Schevening and was received with accla- 
mation. Billow now entered Belgium, where Carnot was 
defending Antwerp. He occupied Mons on February 16, 
1 8 14, and was then ordered to join the army of Silesia. 
The allies together hastened to Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent 
and Bruges, and were everywhere received with acclama- 
tion. 

Before Napoleon could meet his enemies with confi- 
dence, he was obliged to meet his people. The Corps 
Legislatif opened with great pomp on December 19, 181 3. 
Napoleon addressed it to the following purpose, " Every- 
thing has turned against us. I had great plans for the 
happiness of the world. I hoped that by this time the Con- 
gress of Mannheim would have begun its sittings. I now 
call for new sacrifices." The Corps Legislatif eventually 
declared itself by 223 votes to 59 contented with the 
natural frontiers of France — the Alps, the Rhine, and the 
Pyrenees. Napoleon was very angry with this decision, 



84 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

because he saw the hollowness of the offer, and prorogued 
the session on December 31. The next day, January 1, 
he received the great officers of State. He said, amongst 
other things : " The true throne is a man, and I am this 
man : by my will, my character, my reputation, I alone can 
save France ; you cannot. Go home and say to France, 
that it must fight, not for my person, but for its existence 
as a nation. I will place myself at the head of the army, 
drive back the enemy, and make peace." He then pro- 
ceeded to choose certain notables, civil and military, to 
influence the country, and before their departure, addressed 
them as follows : " I am willing to confess that I have 
made too many wars ; I had far-reaching schemes. I 
ventured to secure for France the Lordship of the World. 
I deceived myself: these plans were not consistent with 
the size of our population. I had to bring them all under 
arms, and I must admit that the limit of social conditions, 
and the softening of manners, does not allow me to ask a 
whole nation to take up arms. If I must suffer for the 
misfortune of having miscalculated my own chances, I 
will suffer for it. I will conclude peace in such a way as 
circumstances command, and this peace shall not be more 
humiliating for any one than for myself. I have been 
deceived ; I ought to suffer, and not France ; it has made 
no mistakes, it has shed its blood for me ; it has refused 
no sacrifice. As for myself, I only ask for the honour of 
showing a very difficult courage, the courage of renouncing 
the greatest ambitions which have ever existed, and of 
sacrificing for the good of my people magnificent plans 
which could only be carried out by exertions which I will 
no longer demand." 

Napoleon, who was a great master of finance, had then 
in hand sixty-three millions of private savings. Of these 
he destined seventeen millions for the Guard, ten for 
administration, eight for horses and munitions of war, one 
for his brothers, the kings ; four he would take with him 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 85 

twenty-three he would leave behind in the cellars of the 
Tuileries. 

When the time came for Napoleon's departure he left 
the Empress as Regent with Cambaceres and Joseph as 
advisers, to take his place in case of need. The other 
brothers were to join the National Guard. He ordered 
Savary, the minister of police, to watch over his brothers, 
and especially to be on his guard against Talleyrand. He 
then took a solemn leave of the officers of the National 
Guard, speaking to them with his wife and son on either 
side of him. Early in the morning of February 25, 1814, 
he took leave of his wife and child for the last time, and 
reached Chalons-sur-Marne on the evening of the same 
day. 

Authorities. — The guidance of Sorel has again been followed for 
the negotiations, supplemented by the correspondence of Castlereagh 
and others. 



CHAPTER VIII 
THE CAMPAIGN IN FRANCE- CHATILLON 

jA FTER his return to Paris, Napoleon had worked 
/^L with all the resources of his energy and his 
/ — ^k genius to repel the invasion of his country. 
JL JL~ He had called up all the soldiers he could lay 
his hands upon as far back as the conscription of 1805, 
and had anticipated the conscription of 18 15. He had 
established new " cohorts " of national guards, had recalled 
troops from Spain, and thus had collected together 
a force which showed on paper as 500,000. But he 
could hardly expect that his orders would be literally 
carried out. The two months' breathing space allowed 
him after Leipzig was not sufficient to drill these con- 
scripts, nor even to collect them together. He was badly 
supplied with money, clothing, arms and all material of 
war. The conscripts, when they arrived at the depots, 
had but scanty uniforms or none at all ; many were 
dressed in blouses and wooden shoes, and these poor 
children, inexperienced and uninstructed, merely food for 
the enemy's cannon, in spite of the courage and devotion 
which they often exhibited, went by the name of " Marie- 
Louises." 

In the darkness of all these difficulties flamed the bright 
star of the genius of Napoleon himself. As he had been 
before led from victory to victory by his good fortune, so 
now did the greatest qualities of his mind and character 
seem to derive strength from the presence of ill fortune, 

86 



1&< 




THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 87 

stimulated to greater efforts by the ever-present feeling 
that he was defending the soil of his country against the 
pollution of an invading foe. Commanding a few veterans 
and a few recruits, he thought to supply the deficiency by 
his personal qualities, by the rapidity of his movements, 
by the wise application of means to ends, by readiness to 
profit by the smallest division amongst the enemy, and by 
the discovery of new resources. Thus the campaign of 
1 8 14 is scarcely less brilliant than the campaign of 1796; 
his setting, like his rising sun, was attended by the gor- 
geous hues of victory. But the forces of nature, which 
are more powerful than those of war, which were on his 
side in Italy, were now opposed to him in France ; it was 
impossible to contend successfully against an overwhelm- 
ing fate. 

The army of Schwarzenberg, 200,000 strong, marched 
into France by Besangon, Langres and Chaumont ; 
Blucher, with 50,000 men, advanced through Lorraine to 
Vassy and Saint Dizier. Their design was to join their 
forces, and then to march upon Paris by the valleys of the 
Marne and the Seine. They had gradually driven back 
before them the small armies of Victor, Ney, and Mar- 
mont, and on January 27 Blucher reached Brienne with 
30,000 men in order to join Schwarzenberg, who had arrived 
at Bar-sur- Aube, about ten miles distant. To protect Paris, 
Mortier was stationed at Troyes with 15,000 men, while 
at Chalons were collected about 40,000 under the com- 
mand of Victor, Ney, Marmont, and Macdonald. Thus 
when Napoleon arrived at Chalons he found himself at the 
head of 55,000 men. The " Marie-Louises," who came in 
gradually afterwards, did not double the number, and the 
Imperial army never at any time contained more than 
90,000 combatants. 

. The plan of Napoleon was to attack Blucher, who had 
the smaller army, before he could join Schwarzenberg, and 
for this purpose he marched from Chalons to Saint Dizier, 



88 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

and from Saint Dizier to Brienne, in the valley of the 
Aube, where he came up with the Prussian marshal. After 
a spirited engagement he drove the Prussians from Brienne, 
but they retreated towards Bar-sur- Aube, where Schwarzen- 
berg was posted, so that he w T ould have to fight against 
both armies united, which together quadrupled his own. 
Instead of retiring he established himself at La Rothiere 
and on the hills surrounding Brienne. The Austrian army 
had already moved forward to meet Bliicher, and on 
February i the small forces of Napoleon were attacked 
by at least 1 50,000 of the enemy, who outflanked him on 
both sides, and tried to thrust him into the Aube. After 
a struggle of eight hours La Rothiere remained in the 
hands of the allies. Napoleon had lost 6000 men and 54 
guns, and was obliged to retreat, first to Troyes and after- 
wards to Nogent-sur-Seine. The allies thought that the 
campaign was at an end, and the officers expected to be 
dining in a week's time in the garden of the Palais Royal. 

In a council of war held in the chateau of Brienne on 
February 2 the invaders determined to march immediately 
on Paris, and for this purpose divided their forces into 
two parts, Bliicher advancing to Chalons, where he was to 
receive reinforcements, and then by the valley of the 
Marne ; Schwarzenberg by Troyes and the valley of the 
Seine. Bliicher showed that he well merited the name of 
" Marshal Forwards." He pressed on with all speed, hoping 
to arrive at Paris before Schwarzenberg. The consequence 
of this was that his troops were distributed over a very 
long line. On February 9 York was at Chateau Thierry 
with 18,000 men, Sacken at Montmirail with 20,000, 
Olsuviev at Champaubert with 6000, whereas Bliicher with 
his 18,000 men had not got further than Etoges. 

Napoleon was carefully following from Nogent-sur-Seine 
the movements of the army of Silesia, and on February 7 
he despatched Marmont to Sezanne and joined him there 
two days later. As he had left the corps of Victor and 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 89 

Oudinot on the Seine, he had with him only a body of 
25,000 men. He marched by the road from Suzanne to 
Epernay, which passes by Champaubert and would bring 
him right upon the flank of the Russians. He attacked 
them on the following day and almost entirely annihilated 
them, only 1500 escaping. By this action the army of 
Blucher was cut completely in two, and Napoleon had the 
choice of turning to the right on Blucher himself, or to 
the left upon his lieutenants. He determined upon the 
latter course. He left Marmont at Champaubert to keep 
Blucher in check, and marched upon the corps of Sacken 
at Montmirail. Sacken fought bravely, but was entirely 
defeated with the loss of 4000 men. Napoleon then on 
February 12 marched against the division of York at 
Chateau Thierry. This in its turn was beaten and driven 
behind the Ourcq with the loss of 3000 men. Thus in 
three days the Emperor had scattered the greater number 
of Bliicher's troops to the winds and had reopened his 
communications with Paris. He now turned upon Blucher 
himself, who was ignorant of what had occurred. He was 
advancing from Etoges to Montmirail, and Marmont was 
retiring slowly before him. Suddenly Marmont turned 
round and attacked him as he came out of Vauchamps. 
Then behind the troops of Marmont Blucher saw the Im- 
perial guard advancing, and the cry of " Vive TEmpereur ! " 
uttered by 10,000 throats came upon him like a clap of 
thunder. Obedient to his old caution, he determined to 
retreat, and did so at first in good order. But Grouchy 
made a desperate charge upon this mass of men with 
3500 cavalry, cut them down, and huddled them up in 
confusion. Blucher retired in disorder with the loss of 
6000 men, the French loss being only 600. 

The intention of Napoleon had been to pursue Blucher 
to Chalons, complete the destruction of his army, and then 
move backwards to Vitry, thus threatening the rear of the 
army of Bohemia. But he heard that Schwarzenberg had 



go THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

driven back the forces of Victor and of Oudinot, and was 
threatening Paris. Jomini had indeed advised the allies 
to march on Paris, but, disconcerted by the fate of Blucher, 
they determined to "wait for the development of the 
manoeuvres of the Emperor Napoleon," The plan of 
these manoeuvres was formed on the battlefield of Vau- 
champs. On February 14 the army of Bohemia was 
much scattered ; Wittgenstein was at Provins, Wrede at 
Nangis, the Wtirtembergers at Montereau, and the reserve 
between Braye and Nogent. Napoleon, on February 14 
and 15, marched first back towards Meaux, and then south 
to Guignes, where he joined his two marshals, Victor and 
Oudinot, and brought his numbers up to 60,000 men. On 
February 17 he fell upon the enemy and drove them first 
on Mornant, and then on Nangis ; he then sent Oudinot, 
Macdonald, and Victor in three directions to push the 
enemy before them, ordering the last to occupy the bridge 
of Montereau, which however he failed to do. On Febru- 
ary 18 Napoleon hastened to repair this error, and forced 
the Wurtembergers into Montereau, occupying the famous 
bridge, by which he hoped to reach the army of Schwar- 
zenberg. The Austrians, however, thought it prudent to 
retire to Troyes. 

On February 22 the grand army of the allies was 
arranged in order of battle, its right on the Seine, its left 
on the village of Saint Germain. It was too late for the 
Emperor to attack it, because all his troops had not arrived, 
but he had great hopes for the morrow. True, the allies 
were 150,000, and the French 70,000 strong, but they were 
demoralised by their defeat, and had a river at their back. 
Blucher could not come up in less than twenty-four hours, 
and in that time Schwarzenberg would have been beaten. 
Unfortunately for Napoleon, the Austrians were of the 
same opinion, and did not care to sacrifice a magnificent 
army to the glory of France. So on the following day, at 
five o'clock in the morning, they retreated to Bar-sur-Aube, 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 91 

sending propositions for an armistice. On February 24 
Napoleon entered Troyes, where he was received with the 
greatest enthusiasm. On February 26 the general position 
of the armies was as follows : Napoleon at Troyes com- 
manded between the Seine and the Aube a force of 74,000 
men, and 340 guns ; the great army of the allies, reduced 
to 230,000 men, was retiring before him to Chaumont and 
Langres. On his left Bliicher, with 48,000 men, was 
undertaking a dangerous flank march, being held in check 
by Marshals Marmont and Mortier with 16,000 men, with 
the risk of being attacked in his rear by the Emperor 
himself. On the right of Napoleon, General Allix de- 
fended the line of the Yonne with 2000 soldiers, and 
was raising the peasants of the surrounding country. 
Every day Paris sent fresh supplies, both of men and 
guns ; the national guards were organizing themselves in 
the provinces, and the peasants were beginning a guerilla 
warfare. In the south, Augereau with 27,000 men had 
begun to take the offensive against the 20,000 men of 
Bubna and Lichtenstein. Augereau had express orders to 
occupy a position between Basel and Langres, so as to cut 
off Schwarzenberg's retreat. The possibility of this catas- 
trophe caused continual disquiet to the Austrian general, 
and made him fear that the situation of affairs might at 
any time undergo a sudden change. 

We must nowreturn to the dullerdealings of diplomatists. 
On January 6 Caulaincourt sent a letter to Metternich, 
saying that he was charged by Napoleon to ask for an 
interview, and that he wished for peace. He was told 
that the Emperor of Russia was absent, that Castlereagh 
was on his road, and that they must await his arrival. 
Metternich now thought that he was sure either of peace 
or of the deposition of Napoleon. He therefore began to 
slacken the warlike operations, as he did not wish to 
humiliate France too much. Metternich was really afraid 
lest, by the influence of Alexander, Bernadotte might be 



92 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

put in the place of Napoleon. This would be to exchange 
one danger for another, or a worse. He began to feel very 
uncertain as to his course of action. 

On January 18 Schwarzenberg occupied Langres, and 
Castlereagh reached the head-quarters of the allies in 
Basel. Castlereagh was apparently not specially anxious 
for the restoration of the Bourbons ; he desired to preserve 
the supremacy of England at sea, and to strengthen the 
kingdom of the Netherlands by the addition of Belgium. 
He was opposed to the promotion of Bernadotte, and 
had no objection to negotiating with Napoleon, if the 
French people would accept him. Peace was to be pre- 
served by a defensive union. The French should choose 
their own sovereign, but there must be an effective barrier 
by the union of Belgium with Holland. 

On January 14 Metternich wrote to Caulaincourt that 
Castlereagh had arrived, and that he could meet him at 
Chatillon-sur- Seine, where they could arrange further 
matters. Metternich wrote to Hudelot that Austria had 
fulfilled and more than fulfilled her engagements of 181 3, 
and that she was now free to take a new departure. 

On January 25 Castlereagh and Metternich arrived at 
Langres, where Alexander had been since the 22nd, in 
order to press Schwarzenberg to a speedy advance on 
Paris. This was not his idea. He presented to the 
Emperor Francis a memoir against it, based both on 
military and political grounds. " Here we should make 
peace, that is my advice. Our Emperor and Stadion, 
Metternich and Castlereagh, are entirely of this opinion" 
But the Emperor Alexander said, " This is the moment of 
the most important decision ; heaven defend us in this 
crisis ! " King Frederick William, Hardenberg, and Knese- 
beck held the same views, opposed to Gneisenau and 
Bliicher. Barclay de Tolly, Volkonsky, and Nesselrode 
were opposed to the view of their master. It is probable 
that Alexander was confirmed in his opinion by Pozzo di 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 93 

Borgo and Laharpe. Castlereagh and the English repre- 
sentatives were in favour of a policy of moderation, a fact 
on which sufficient stress has not hitherto been laid. 
Metternich was, of course, on the side of Castlereagh. 
He declared strongly against a war of conquest. France 
should be confined within proper limits, a system of equili- 
brium established, Austria and Prussia be reconstructed 
on the lines of 1805. He put forward six questions : — 

1. Are the allies prepared to sign a peace on these 
terms ? 

2. Are they agreed that Europe should negotiate with 
France ? 

3. Are they prepared, should difficulties arise, to bring 
the propositions of Napoleon to the knowledge of the 
French ? 

4. Will the Powers give a new master to France, or will 
they regard that as a matter of internal concern ? 

5. Will they declare in the first instance against Napoleon 
personally, or against his descendants and in favour of the 
Bourbons ? 

6. Are they prepared in case these views go beyond the 
arrangements of 1806 to formulate them and to communi- 
cate them to each other ? 

The Emperor Francis, after consideration, declared that 
he agreed with Metternich, to treat with Napoleon at once. 
We have seen that Prussia and England held the same 
view. There remained the decision of the Emperor of 
Russia. Nesselrode supported Metternich. Pozzo and 
Stein were on the other side. It was difficult for Alexan- 
der to consent, because he would have to surrender the 
neutrality of Switzerland and all consideration of Berna- 
dotte. He threatened to leave Langres and advance on 
Paris. Metternich said that in this case Austria would 
desert the coalition. Upon this declaration he yielded. 
At the same time he left Langres with the King of Prussia. 
There is no doubt that his principal difficulty lay in his 



94 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

desire to keep the whole of Poland and to offer Alsace to 
Austria in exchange for Galicia. 

After the departure of the sovereigns the instructions 
for Chatillon were drawn up by the Ministers at Langres. 
They concerned mainly two points : — the future limits of 
France, and the general condition of the rest of Europe. 
As to the limits, the plenipotentiaries were first to ask for 
the limits of 1789, but with power to extend them to the 
limits of 1792. Europe was to be reinstated as a complex 
of great Powers in a position of complete independence, 
with such frontiers as they may determine with each other. 
Germany was to be composed of a union of sovereign 
princes formed together by a federal tie which assures and 
guarantees the independence of the country. The Swiss 
federation was to remain in its former limits, with an inde- 
pendence placed under the guarantee of the great Powers, 
including France. Italy was to be divided into indepen- 
dent States. Spain was to be governed by Ferdinand VII 
in its former limits. Holland was to be an independent 
State under the sovereignty of the Prince of Orange, with 
an increase of territory and the establishment of a proper 
frontier. France was to abandon its direct influence be- 
yond its future limits, and the head of its government 
was to renounce all titles which might imply a protector- 
ate over Italy, Germany and Switzerland. The war was 
to continue during the negotiations. 

The plenipotentiaries went to Chatillon on February 3, 
Stadion representing Austria ; Rosumovsky, Russia ; 
Cathcart, Stewart and Aberdeen, England ; Humboldt, 
Prussia. Stadion was in favour of peace, but he was 
opposed to giving Saxony to Prussia, which Metternich 
favoured. Humboldt was not liked by Metternich, who 
thought him a pedant Rosumovsky was inclined to the 
views of Pozzo and Stein. Metternich had wished that 
England should have only one representative instead of a 
Sanhedrim of three, as Hardenberg called it. But Castle- 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 95 

reagh did not desire to be present, and there is no doubt 
that they would all act according to his inclinations. The 
failure of the Congress showed that a system of revolu- 
tionary conquest was not compatible with a system of 
legitimate equilibrium. 

Chatillon was now in the power of the allies, and 
Caulaincourt's couriers could only pass by favour. The 
head-quarters of the allies were advanced from Langres 
to Chaumont. On January 4 Napoleon had written in- 
structions for Caulaincourt which accepted the prin- 
ciple of " natural frontiers," but demanded Tuscany for 
Joseph Bonaparte, Lucca and Piombino for Elisa; a re- 
compense for Jerome; Elba and Corsica, and perhaps also 
Piedmont and Geneva, for France, as well as part of 
Holland. The kingdom of Italy was to remain one and 
undivided, excepting that the Pope was to return to 
Rome if he consented to recognize the Concordat of 181 3. 
He argued that the increase in the French dominions was 
only an equipoise to what had been gained by Russia, 
Prussia, Austria in Poland, and by England in India. 
Under the influence of the defeat at La Rothiere, 
Napoleon wrote to Caulaincourt, " As soon as the allies 
have communicated to you their conditions, you are free 
to accept them, or to refer to me in twenty-four hours." 
A few hours later, after midnight, Maret wrote again to 
Caulaincourt : "His Majesty orders me to tell you that he 
gives you carte blanche to conduct the negotiations to a 
good end, to save the capital and avoid a battle in which 
the best hopes of the nation are at stake." The next day 
Maret wrote again : " You are to accept the bases if they 
can be accepted : if not, we will run the risk of a battle 
and even of the loss of Paris, and all that it implies." 

Chatillon was not a very comfortable place for the 
diplomats. The market was avoided by the peasants 
because of the neighbourhood of the armies, and the 
diplomats had to bring provisions with them. They 



96 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

heard very little of what was going on. Although 
Caulaincourt pressed for an earlier meeting, the con- 
ditions drawn up at Langres were not communicated to 
him till February 7. Caulaincourt might now accept or 
refuse them. He did neither, being afraid of so much 
responsibility, but referred matters to the Emperor. He 
was obliged to temporize. He said, " I refuse nothing, 
but I wish precise declarations. France will make sacri- 
fices to get peace as soon as possible ; only tell me what 
the sacrifice is to be. Does the limit of the old frontiers 
include the colonies which France possessed before 1792 
and then lost ? " This was done to gain time. He also 
said that if Belgium and the Rhine provinces were de- 
manded, he would like to know what was to be done with 
them. He also asked whether if he accepted the pro- 
posals the war would be really at an end. Aberdeen said 
that he must consider this question. This made Caulain- 
court ask for an adjournment. It was certain that the 
allies, like Napoleon, were waiting upon events. Whilst 
they sat at dinner a courier arrived from head-quarters. 
Rosumovsky received news that Herzogenbosch was con- 
quered, that Billow had marched through Brussels, and 
was in full advance upon France ; that Chernichev had 
occupied Givet and Philippeville, while Stewart heard 
that the Austrians had taken Troyes, and that the Cos- 
sacks were on the march to Fontainebleau. 

When they met again at 8 p.m. Caulaincourt read a 
declaration in which he declared himself ready to give 
his views on the proposals of the allies if he might learn 
the compensation which France was to receive for her 
sacrifices — and what was to be done with them, because 
it was impossible to decide on one question without 
knowing all the others. This, which was reasonable, was 
taken by the allies ad referendum. At this Caulaincourt, 
who behaved with great moderation, found it difficult to 
restrain his impatience. The conference broke up with- 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 97 

out fixing another day for meeting. It is unfair to blame 
Caulaincourt for not having made peace on February 7, 
because the allies would undoubtedly have temporized. 

On February 8, news was brought that the allies had 
entered Chalons, and that Blucher was marching on Paris. 
The plenipotentiaries dined with Stewart. After dinner 
they had a discussion with Caulaincourt as to the terms 
of the preamble of his declaration. They then discussed 
alone what answer they should give to Caulaincourt. On 
February 9, Caulaincourt opened his heart to Floret. He 
said that he was basely treated, that his couriers were 
intercepted or compelled to make detours, and that he 
could not keep up a proper communication with Napoleon. 
" You trample me under foot, you put me to torture. I 
have only a cannon of six against a battery of sixteen. 
It is not generous to treat the weak in this way. You 
ask for sacrifices, I want to know what you are going to 
do with them : I ask whether these sacrifices will put an 
end to the war, you reply by subtleties. You want to go 
to Paris, but you do not know what you are doing. You 
are stirring up a revolution. You gave Marie Louise to 
the Emperor to finish the revolution, and now you are 
beginning it again." Rayneval spoke in a similar strain : 
"You are lighting a fire which you will not be able to 
extinguish, and which may go further than you think. I 
do not fear the Bourbons, that is a chimera ; I fear a 
new upturning of social order. You are relighting the 
revolution. You will end by having no Government to 
treat with, and no army to fight. This revolution may 
go further than you think. All people are weary and 
poisoned against their sovereign. The cry of indepen- 
dence will unite them. Do you think that the Italians 
desire a master ? No ! they will rise for their indepen- 
dence. You have the choice of setting fire to the four 
corners of Europe, or of making peace in twenty-four 
hours. Austria has won a glorious position. What will 

H 



98 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

posterity say if, instead of making peace, you made war 
for the sake of war, and set the world in conflagration 
for many years to come ! France now wishes for peace, 
she is ready to make great sacrifices for it. You took 
up arms for peace and now you refuse it. If you ask for 
securities, they shall be given you." Floret made no answer 
to these remarks. 

Alexander now determined to break off the conference. 
This was announced by Rosumovsky on February 9. 
There was a general expression of surprise. Stadion and 
Metternich were greatly disappointed ; but they did not 
care to oppose the Tsar. On the morning of February 10 
they sent a courier to Caulaincourt that the Emperor of 
Russia had provisionally interrupted the conferences 
because he wished to ascertain more precisely the views 
of his brother sovereigns on the situation, but that the 
sittings would be resumed before long. 

Alexander did this that he might not be interrupted in 
the march upon Paris. He agreed with Bliicher and 
Gneisenau that Napoleon could not really prevent this, 
and he thought that it would be quickly accomplished. 
Stadion wrote to Metternich that they had been made 
fools of: what was the good of bringing to Chatillon two 
foreign ministers and six plenipotentiaries for such a 
wretched conclusion ? Even before this happened Castle- 
reagh left Chatillon for Troyes, in order to consult the 
ministers of the allied Powers. Metternich, with a similar 
object, invited Hardenberg to Troyes to confer with him- 
self, Metternich, and Nesselrode on the situation. It was 
indeed high time that they should do so. 

Just at the time when Alexander was breaking off the 
negotiations at Chatillon, a dramatic scene was being 
enacted at Nogent-sur-Seine. Caulaincourt's letter from 
Chatillon arrived on the evening of February 7. Napoleon 
read the letter, crushed it in his hands, and retired to his 
room. Maret and Berthier found him there, one of his 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 99 

hands supporting his forehead, the other lying idle beside 
him, still holding the letter. They spoke to him of peace. 
" What ! " he cried, " sign a treaty like this and disregard 
my coronation oath ! I might restore my own conquests, 
but to abandon those of the Republic, and violate what 
was entrusted to me with so much confidence ! to leave 
France* smaller than I found her ! Never ! What will 
France think of me if I sign her humiliation ? What can 
I answer to the republicans of the Senate if they ask for 
their frontier of the Rhine? You are afraid of the continua- 
tion of the war, I of more certain dangers which you do 
not perceive. ,, He saw clearly that the acceptance of the 
" natural limits " implied the return of the old monarchy, 
dethronement for himself, exile for his friends, captivity 
for his son. 

He walked hastily up and down the room, and suddenly 
stopping, cried, "Say what you will, I will never sign." 
Eventually he seemed to yield a little, and went to bed. 
He could not sleep. Again and again he summoned his 
servant, now asking for a light, now breaking into trans- 
ports of agitation. The vision of the inevitable future 
haunted him like a nightmare. At four o'clock on that 
dreary winter morning he wrote to his brother Joseph : — 

" Paris shall never be occupied whilst I am alive. Be- 
ware of Talleyrand, he is the greatest enemy of our house. 
If I fight a battle and am killed, you shall have the first 
news. Send the Empress and the King of Rome to 
Rambouillet, do not let them fall into the hands of the 
enemy. I would rather see my son murdered than be 
educated at Vienna as an Austrian prince. I have never 
seen the play of Andromache without having lamented the 
fate of Astyanax surviving the ruin of his house." 

At daybreak, Napoleon leapt from his bed, bent over 
his maps, compass in hand, marking the march of the 
armies with pins. When Maret brought to him for signa- 
ture a conciliatory letter for Caulaincourt, he cried : " Oh ! 



ioo THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

here you are ! I am now otherwise employed. I am beat- 
ing Blucher. I shall beat him to-morrow, and the day 
after to-morrow, and the face of things will change. 
There will always be time to make such a peace as they 
propose to us." Then followed the success after success, 
victory after victory, which eventually made him master 
of Troyes. 

Authorities, — From the beginning of the year 1814 we have the 
invaluable assistance of Houssaye, whose four volumes, combining the 
highest qualities of style and erudition, are indispensable for a know- 
ledge of the period. Fournier's work on the Congress of Chatillon 
has also been of great service. Sorel has also been consulted. 



CHAPTER IX 
THE CONGRESS OF CHATILLON 

THE main object of the Emperor Alexander was 
to get to Paris as soon as possible, and he saw 
in the negotiations of Chatillon nothing but a 
hindrance to this plan. Castlereagh felt that 
it was necessary to settle without delay the important 
questions, whether Napoleon was to be retained upon the 
throne, and, if not, whether the French nation was to have 
the free choice of his successor ; what was to be the object 
sought for in the present war ; and, further, what form the 
new order of Europe was to take. The easiest solution 
would be the restoration of Prussia and Austria to their 
condition before 1805, and a reasonable compensation to 
Russia for her sacrifices, 

Castlereagh arrived at Troyes on February 10. On 
February 8 Schwarzenberg sent his Emperor a memoir 
in which he argued that Napoleon was by no means 
beaten, that his forces were daily increasing, while those 
of the allies were diminishing, and that it was advisable at 
least to have an armistice. Francis was rather in favour 
of an immediate peace. Metternich now laid down seven 
questions which he desired should be settled at Troyes. 
(1) What answer is to be given to Caulaincourt ? Is this 
answer to be negative or dilatory ? (2) Are the powers to 
declare for Louis XVIII or leave the initiative to the 
French? (3) How is the opinion of the French nation to 
be ascertained ? (4) What limit of time is to be set to 



102 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

their decision ? (5) If Paris declares for the Bourbons, and 
Napoleon still remains at the head of an army, are the 
Powers to support the Bourbons or make peace with 
Napoleon ? (6) What attitude are the Powers to hold in 
the meantime with regard to Louis XVIII, the Count 
d'Artois, the emigres, and Royalists generally? (7) If Paris 
is conquered, what government is to be established there ? 
Are we to place a garrison there ? If so, who is to be in 
command ? 

In answer to these questions Hardenberg was on the 
side of peace, and the King of Prussia agreed with him. 
Nesselrode expressed the contrary opinion : an armistice 
was to be refused. The question of dynasty was to be 
left to the initiative of the French, to be settled as soon as 
the allies arrived in Paris. If Paris was in favour of Napo- 
leon, the allies were to make peace with him. In the mean- 
time a governor was to be appointed, if possible a Russian. 
These views were strongly opposed by Metternich, he 
being in favour of an arrangement with Napoleon if 
possible. With regard to the dynastic question, Austria 
was in favour of Louis XVIII, whereas Alexander would 
have preferred the Due d'Orleans or the Due de Berry. 
Castlereagh was in favour of peace and against an appeal 
to the French nation. He supported an armistice if it was 
understood that it was a preliminary to peace. It appears, 
therefore, that Austria, Prussia, and England were agreed 
to make an armistice with qualifying conditions, to resume 
the negotiations at Ch&tillon, and to press on peace with 
Napoleon. These reasons were strengthened by the 
evidence given by Napoleon that his power was not yet 
broken. 

Thus on February 17, after Napoleon's successes, 
Nesselrode was still stubborn in his opinion. Metternich 
declared that he could not put up with this tyranny, and 
that Austria would sign a peace by herself. By the media- 
tion of Hardenberg a protocol in answer to Caulaincourt 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 103 

was agreed to by the three Powers in favour of an 
armistice. The armistice was to last for two weeks, with 
four days' notice of denunciation; the fortresses of Bergen- 
op-Zoom, Antwerp, Luxemburg, Mainz, Mantua, Hunin- 
gen, and Besangon were to be given up, a limit of de- 
marcation to be fixed, and France was to declare that she 
would accept the limits of 1792. Nesselrode refused to 
sign this. Alexander said that he had received a private 
communication from the Prince Regent against an 
armistice with Napoleon, and in favour of the restoration 
of the Bourbons. This led to stormy scenes. Castlereagh 
said that a private communication from the Prince Regent 
could not override his instructions. The Tsar sent a 
memoir, evidently drawn up by Pozzo, strongly urging the 
necessity of the overthrow of Napoleon, and refusing the 
suggestion of an armistice. This paper was signed by 
Nesselrode. 

Metternich was determined to isolate Alexander, but 
Frederick William declared that he could not desert him. 
However, a secret treaty was made between Prussia and 
Austria which contained the following conditions : (1) The 
limits of 1792; no interference in the dynastic question, 
excepting that if the French desired a younger member of 
the Bourbon house, the allies should only support him in 
case Louis XVIII resigned the crown. (2) Peace to be 
made with Napoleon either at Chatillon or on the march. 
(3) A military governor of Paris to be named by Russia, 
with a board including the other Powers. Paris to be 
garrisoned. (4) The treaty to remain secret, but to be 
communicated to Castlereagh. Castlereagh agreed to this, 
and the question was how to convince Alexander. After 
long arguments from Metternich he yielded. He gave up 
the idea of a national assembly in Paris, and consented to 
the resumption of negotiations in Chatillon, but instead of 
an armistice asked for guaranteed preliminaries of peace, 
which Metternich did not object to. 



104 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

On February 14, Alexander and Frederick William left 
Troyes to go to the head-quarters of the allies at Pont-sur- 
Seine. Metternich sent to obtain Alexander's agreement 
in writing, as he thought that his simple word was not to 
be trusted. However, on February 15, a satisfactory 
paper arrived, signed by Alexander. Castlereagh was 
already at Chatillon. Here he signed a convention with 
Prussia and Austria, with the following conditions : 
(1) That Belgium should be given to Holland. (2) That 
the King of Sicily was to be compensated. (3) That the 
warships in the surrendered harbours should not be given 
back to France, and that Austria should receive a large 
territory in Italy. 

The new conditions for the preliminaries at Chatillon were 
laid down as follows: — All conquests since 1792 were to 
be surrendered, and Napoleon was to renounce all consti- 
tutional influence outside France, mediate or immediate, 
and all foreign titles. The independence of all European 
States was to be recognized, as well as the new order of 
Europe with regard to Germany, Italy, Holland, Switzer- 
land, and Spain, and of the arrangements made by the 
continental Powers. England was to give up All Saints' 
Islands, Mauritius, Barcelona, and all conquests made 
since 1792, on the condition that France was not to fortify 
any territory east of the Cape, and was to import no 
slaves ; Guadeloupe and Cayenne were to fall to France, 
Malta to remain with England. After the signing of the 
preliminaries, Napoleon was to surrender all fortresses in 
the central territories and in Germany, especially Mainz, 
Hamburg, Antwerp and Bergen-op-Zoom, in six days ; 
Mantua, Palmanova, Venice and Peschiera, the Oder 
and Elbe fortresses in fourteen days; and the rest in cor- 
responding periods. In four days he was to give up 
Besancon, Belfort and Hiiningen as guarantee for the 
signing of a definite peace. Hostilities were to cease 
immediately on signing the preliminaries. A line of de- 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 105 

marcation was to be drawn, and the ratifications were to 
be exchanged in four days. This draft was sent to Aber- 
deen. The first meeting was fixed for the evening of 
February 17. 

Castlereagh and Aberdeen were favourable to ' the 
French, but Rosumovsky made difficulties. The plenipo- 
tentiaries met at 9 p.m. Caulaincourt did not like the 
surrender of the three French fortresses. He wished for 
a compensation for Eugene, and for some guarantee for 
the Kings of Saxony and Westphalia. Caulaincourt now 
desired delay, whereas the allies were in a hurry to con- 
clude. Things were not looking well for the allies, and 
matters went so far that Schwarzenberg proposed an 
armistice to Berthier. When Metternich heard of this he 
was beside himself, and hastened to Troyes. But by this 
time Napoleon had changed his mind. He withdrew the 
full powers which he had given to Caulaincourt, and fell 
back on the " natural frontiers." Humboldt, indeed, saw 
that France might accept humiliating conditions, but that 
Napoleon would never accept them — it would deprive him 
of all his glory. Humboldt thought the conditions hard. 
Indeed, the action of Schwarzenberg had thrown every- 
thing into confusion. It seemed that the Congress could 
do nothing, and that everything depended on the future 
of the war. 

Colonel Paar, who had been sent by Schwarzenberg to 
propose the armistice, was not allowed to approach Berthier, 
and was kept at Braye for three days waiting for an answer 
which did not come. In the meantime the French con- 
tinued to advance, and the allies were greatly discouraged. 
Schwarzenberg had to retire. A council of war was held 
early on February 23, in the quarters of the King of 
Prussia. Napoleon had written to Francis from Nogent 
on February 21a letter in which he offered to make peace 
on the basis of the Frankfort proposals. Any French- 
man, he said, would rather die than accept conditions 



106 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

which would depose France from the rank of a great Power. 
On the same day he wrote to Augereau : " I have destroyed 
30,000 of the enemy with battalions composed of con- 
scripts with no knapsacks. If you are still the Augereau 
of Castiglione, keep your command ; if your sixty years 
weigh upon you, giwe it up. The country is in danger, and 
can only be saved by audacity. You must resume your 
boots and the resolution of '93." Paar also brought a 
letter from Berthier to Schwarzenberg, saying that peace 
had not been signed at CMtillon on February 16. Schwar- 
zenberg supposed that France was now in a better military 
position than the allies. After a short discussion, Wenzel 
Lichtenstein was sent to the French headquarters and re- 
turned before evening with the news that Napoleon agreed 
to an armistice. Napoleon wrote to Joseph : " They seem 
to be afraid of a decisive battle." On February 24 the 
negotiators met at Loigny; they consisted of Flahaut, 
Duka, Schuvalov, and Rauch. Napoleon said that he 
would only grant an armistice if the declarations of Frank- 
fort were accepted as the preliminaries of peace. This 
made the arrangement impossible, as soldiers could not 
discuss questions of politics. It was also agreed that war- 
like operations were to go on during the discussions. No 
negotiations were therefore practicable ; but according to 
his instructions Flahaut was detained for the rest of the 
day. 

Alexander now proposed to the King of Prussia to 
undertake the march on Paris with the Russians and 
Prussians alone. The Tsar wished to withdraw the 
Russian troops from Schwarzenberg, and give them to 
Blucher. He asked Knesebeck's advice, and he urged 
him to refuse. Knesebeck was strongly in favour of 
peace. 

On the morning of February 27, a council of war was 
held in Bar-sur-Aube, in apartments of the King of 
Prussia. The three sovereigns were present, with Metter- 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 107 

nich, Hardenberg, Castlereagh, and Nesselrode, together 
with Schwarzenberg, Wolkonsky, Diebich, Radetzky, 
and Knesebeck. Alexander made his proposition, which 
was supported by Frederick William III, but by no one 
else. They then proposed a decisive battle at Bar-sur- 
Aube ; that fell to the ground. They agreed unanimously 
to a plan presently put forward by Grollmann. Bllicher 
should continue his march to the Marne, Winzingerode 
and Biilow being under his orders ; the main army was 
to retreat to Langres, the south army to march against 
Augereau and Maison, in order to secure the possession of 
Geneva ; Bernadotte and the Duke of Weimar with the 
Saxons were to leave Belgium to support the army of 
Silesia. Part of the chief army was transferred to Blucher, 
and there were to be three armies, according to the original 
plan. The feeling amongst the allies was by no means 
friendly or unanimous. 

After this, new conditions were drawn up for Chatillon. 
These were eventually dated Chaumont, February 29, 
1 8 14, and signed by Metternich, Castlereagh, Hardenberg 
and Nesselrode. The main point was that they should 
settle with Caulaincourt the time necessary for communi- 
cating with Napoleon, and assure him that any further 
delay would be regarded as a refusal of peace. At the 
same time they were to inform him verbally that they 
were ready to discuss modifications with him, but that 
they could not receive any proposal which differed essen- 
tially from the preliminaries presented to him. If such 
were put forward, they must have recourse to the fate of 
arms. Castlereagh wrote similarly to Aberdeen. The 
Emperor Francis answered Napoleon's letter of February 
20 on February 27. He said that peace could only be 
made on the basis of European equilibrium, and he 
defended Alexander against the accusation of revenge. 
Chatillon now became involved in the burthen of war. 
On February 23 and 24 there passed through that town 



108 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

on the way to Dijon carriages with wounded soldiers and 
flying troops. It soon became outside the sphere of the 
coalition, and was garrisoned by the national guard. 

The plenipotentiaries met again at Chatillon on February 
27 to discuss their new instructions. They found that 
Caulaincourt had been wrongly reported in them, as 
having proposed conditions for a peace which only 
referred to an armistice ; how, therefore, were they to 
proceed ? Lord Aberdeen said that he could not put his 
hand to a lie. Humboldt said that the responsibility of 
the lie lay with those who gave them the powers. Cathcart 
agreed with him. Rosumovsky said that he should vote 
with the majority. S tad ion suggested that they might 
refer to the letter of Caulaincourt without actually quot- 
ing it, and this was accepted. 

They met Caulaincourt on the following day, at noon, 
and Stadion read a declaration. Caulaincourt said that 
he was expecting every day a letter from Napoleon, and 
that he did not then know where he was. He asked for a 
delay till March 10. Caulaincourt had not indeed received 
a letter from Napoleon, but one was on the way, Napoleon 
had entered Troyes with the enthusiasm of the popula- 
tion on February 25, and had written on February 26, 
to the effect that he would negotiate on the Frankfort 
basis alone, surrendering neither Belgium nor Antwerp. 
He would not occupy Chatillon with his soldiers, unless 
the allies desired it. The national guard might continue 
as garrison, and the officers officiate as governors. Castle- 
reagh might correspond by way of Calais, Caulaincourt 
could go on with the negotiations. Blucher had marched 
to Sezanne, but Ney would attack him in the rear. 
Napoleon said, " Let them think that I am at Vandamme, 
that is in pursuit of the main army." Fortune was, how- 
ever, now to take another turn. 

On March 10, 18 14, a new treaty between the allies was 
signed at Chaumont, between the four Powers, Russia, 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 109 

Austria, England, and Prussia, which was afterwards ante- 
dated March 1. Castlereagh called it "my treaty." 
Munster and Metternich recognized its paramount import- 
ance. It governed Europe until 1848, and was a constant 
check upon France. Sorel said that it formed the execu- 
tive of Europe, of which the treaties of Paris and Vienna 
were the constitution. It was a warlike alliance, for the 
purpose of exacting by arms the conditions which had 
been laid before France in the preliminaries, with the 
utmost severity. For this purpose each of the signatory 
states was to provide 150,000 men, and England was to 
pay a subvention of five millions for the year 18 14. 
None of the allies was to make a separate peace with 
France. Each one had the right of sending a military 
commisioner to the different armies, and of receiving an 
account of what went on. If peace were made and a 
further attack followed from the side of France, the allies 
were to assist each other with 60,000 men. The alliance 
was to last for twenty years, and it might be joined by 
other Powers who were exposed to French invasion. 
Especially mentioned were Spain and Portugal, Sweden 
and the House of Orange ; and other Powers according to 
the exigency of the case. It had been intended to include 
by name Hanover and Bavaria, but Alexander pressed, in 
that case, for the inclusion of Wurtemberg, which the other 
Powers would not consent to, so that the expression was 
left vague. Another separate article referred to Germany, 
Italy, Spain, Holland and Switzerland. In Germany the 
sovereign princes were to be united by a federal tie, which 
secured and guaranteed its independence. Holland was to 
receive besides an extension of territory, "une frontiere 
convenable." A third separate article provided that after 
the conclusion of peace with France a common force of 
the allies should be kept in the field for the security of the 
arrangements which they were to make with each other. 
As said above, the treaty is dated March 1, but it was 



no THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

not actually signed till March 10. It was called a defensive 
alliance, but it was in reality offensive, if Napoleon did not 
accept the terms offered to him, and remained defensive 
after he had accepted them. It laid the foundation of the 
common action of the allies after the return from Elba. 
It was at first intended that England should not offer 
troops, but only a subvention of five millions, but Castle- 
reagh tells us, " My modesty would have prevented me 
from offering it ; but as they chose to make us a military 
power, I was determined not to play a second fiddle." It 
was understood that whatever became of Belgium it was 
not to return to Austria. 

We must not suppose that the Treaty of Chaumont 
breathed a new spirit into the allies ; the dispute between 
Alexander and Schwarzenberg still continued. Metternich 
was impatient at the conduct of the Austrian general. 
He writes to Stadion on March 13 : " You have not an idea 
what our head-quarters make us undergo. I can't stand 
it any longer, and the Emperor has been made ill by it. 
They are all mad, and ought to be put in an asylum. We 
are all treated as if we desired to sell the monarchy, as 
if we had a great interest to be beaten and eaten, as if 
Austria ordered the slavery of the foreigners, as if y in one 
word, we were imbeciles. I believe that we are the only 
ones who are not mad. Perhaps we are also, for it is 
a sign of madness to believe that one has one's senses. 
May God lead us to a speedy end ! If military operations 
go well, and it now seems to be the case, we shall reach 
it." Burghersh wrote to the Prince Regent that he wished 
that Schwarzenberg were back on the Rhine. Just at this 
time came the catastrophe of Laon and Soissons. 

In the meantime Metternich was pressing Caulaincourt 
to make peace, and he sent Paul Esterhazy to Chatillon 
for that purpose. He repeated his urgent arguments on 
March 8. Caulaincourt in his heart quite agreed with him. 
Things were really very bad : the French funds had sunk 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON in 

to 50. He saw that the sacrifice must be made, and that 
matters were no longer in the same condition as in Frank- 
fort. He therefore wrote to Napoleon in this sense, and 
he was supported by the representations of Joseph, who 
had remained in Paris. Napoleon, however, was stubborn 
in his resistance. Stadion wrote to Metternich on March 9 : 
" Our good Duke (Vicence) really wishes for peace, but he 
has no power, absolutely none, over his master. We are 
wasting our time here with him. The departure of the 
plenipotentiaries, and a manifesto to the French people in 
which all responsibility is thrown on the shoulders of the 
Emperor, would lead sooner to peace." Humboldt wrote 
in the same sense to Hardenberg. 

On the afternoon of March 10 Rumigny brought a long 
letter from Maret, dated Braye in the Laonnais, March 8. 
It was written under the impression of the battle of 
Craonne. Napoleon was not unwilling to make sacrifices, 
and wished the congress to continue. He might give up 
Wesel, Castel, or Kehl ; Castel, of course, with its fortifica- 
tions razed. The Emperor desired peace, but not with 
dishonourable conditions. The despatch was intercepted 
by the Austrians and copied. It showed with how small 
sacrifices Napoleon hoped to secure peace. On the same 
day he sent a second despatch to Caulaincourt offering to 
destroy the fortifications of Mainz, to give up the thalweg 
of the Rhine, the Isle de France or Reunion. He would 
surrender all claims in Germany or Italy for his brother, if 
something could be done for Eugene in Italy. He would 
give even more than this ; but he could not accept the pro- 
posals of the allies. Caulaincourt was convinced that 
these concessions were not sufficient. 

Metternich, like Napoleon, was anxious that the con- 
gress should continue. He desired peace now, and, with 
Napoleon, principally with the object of defeating the 
plans of Russia. It is true that the candidature of 
Bernadotte had been surrendered by Alexander, but he 
desired, influenced by Pozzo, the restoration of the Bour- 



H2 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

bons, perhaps the Duke of Berry, who was to marry 
Alexander's sister, the Grand Duchess Anne. Austria, on 
the other hand, desired to keep Napoleon on the throne of 
France. Metternich considered that the restoration of the 
Bourbons was more in the interest of Russia and England 
than in that of Austria, or of Europe generally. Metter- 
nich therefore endeavoured to keep the threads of the 
negotiation in his own hands. 

The six plenipotentiaries met in the evening of March 
10. When the protocol of the last meeting had been 
signed Caulaincourt read a memoir, very cleverly com- 
posed, probably by La Besnadiere from the notes of 
Napoleon. It set out with the conditions of Frankfort, 
and the "old frontiers." Everything had changed since 
the " ancien regime" \ other nations regained extension, 
and France should have some compensation. France 
could not be expected to sacrifice her honour, and that 
would suffer if she did not obtain reasonable terms, both 
for herself and for her allies. When Caulaincourt had 
finished, a deep silence followed. Stadion asked whether 
the memoir implied the renunciation of the proposals of 
the allies of February 17. Caulaincourt said, No! Cau- 
laincourt added that his memoir was a refutation, not a 
refusal. When the conference was about to break up, 
Caulaincourt said that Napoleon was ready to renounce 
every title that implied sovereignty or suzerainty or con- 
stitutional influence outside France. He recognized the 
independence of Spain in its old limits under Ferdinand 
VII, of Italy and Switzerland under the guarantee of 
Europe, of Germany, of Holland under the House of 
Orange, and was ready to give up colonial possessions in 
return for a compensation from England. It was seen that 
he avoided the precise mention of the limits of France, 
Holland and Italy. His remarks were received with 
silence. The plenipotentiaries departed without knowing 
whether the conference would be resumed or not. 

On March 11 Caulaincourt complained to Floret that 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 113 

the Austrians did not support him in his efforts for peace. 
He said that he had two negotiations to conduct — one 
with the Austrians and one with the Emperor, and that 
the second was the more difficult of the two. " Prince 
Metternich has obtained the highest position a man can 
occupy ; he is the man of Europe. Does he not feel that 
he will lose this glory if he does not complete his work ; 
and that if he fails the world will judge him severely?" 
Metternich now had the idea of breaking off the congress, 
of summoning Caulaincourt and Stadion to head-quarters 
and making peace in twenty-four hours, and Stadion was 
inclined to agree with him ; Metternich therefore gave up 
the congress, but not the hope of peace. He said that 
Caulaincourt must declare in twenty-four hours whether he 
accepted the preliminaries or not, otherwise the congress 
was at an end. 

The plenipotentiaries met again on March 13. Stadion 
put before Caulaincourt three propositions — to accept the 
preliminaries, to reject them, or to make a counter-project. 
Caulaincourt replied that France had already surrendered 
7,000,000 of men absolutely, and her influence over 
60,000,000. They were treating him like a beleaguered 
city. France would surrender all her departments beyond 
the Alps and make concessions to the English. Stadion 
rejoined that he must have a categorical answer. Eventu- 
ally Caulaincourt asked for a delay till the evening. At 
the evening sitting Caulaincourt said that he wished to 
make a counter-project, but he asked leave to communi- 
cate with Napoleon. This was refused, and he then said 
that he would bring forward the counter-project in twenty- 
four hours. On March 15 Caulaincourt presented his 
counter-project. Napoleon gave up all foreign titles, Illyria, 
and all departments beyond the Alps, except the Isle of 
Elba, and the Rhine, also the crown of Italy, and recog- 
nized the independence of Germany, Switzerland, Spain, 
Italy and Holland. Holland should be enlarged, the 
Pope was to have everything as far as the principality of 
1 



ii 4 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Benevento ; but Eugene Beauharnais was to continue in 
Italy, Elisa to have Lucca and Piombino, Berthier the 
principality of Neufchatel, and the King of Saxony to be 
restored, also the Grand Duke of Berg. Bremen, Ham- 
burg, Liibeck, Danzig, and Ragusa were to be free states, 
the Ionian Islands to belong to the kingdom of Italy. 
France to keep her colonies, but to make some sacrifices 
to England. The fate of the ceded territories was to be 
left to another congress. In three or five days after the 
ratification the foreign troops were to leave France. 

Caulaincourt read his counter-project with deep emotion, 
and was listened to with absolute silence. When he had 
finished, Stadion said that the allies could not go into all 
details, but must first consider it as a whole. Caulaincourt 
had expected that his project would be taken ad referen- 
dum, and sent to head-quarters. When he heard that this 
was not thought necessary his lips quivered and he lost his 
self-control. He knew that the negotiation was at an end. 
Nothing was said about Belgium and Antwerp to satisfy 
the English, about Mainz and the Rhine provinces to 
satisfy the Prussians, and the arrangements about Italy 
were not likely to be satisfactory to the Austrians. Besides, 
at this time the victories of Bliicher over Napoleon, of 
Bianchi over Augereau, and of Wellington over Soult, 
were known. The counter-project was sent to the head- 
quarters at Bar. The ministers met on March 16. They 
were very angry at the counter- project — Metternich 
worked all night to draw up a reply. The next day it 
was accepted by the allies, who sent it to Chatillon with 
orders to leave the town. 

One must not suppose that Metternich, in giving up the 
congress, gave up the hope of peace. Indeed, he thought 
that the influence of Caulaincourt with Napoleon wouk 
be better than that of Maret. Stadion or Floret was t( 
assure Caulaincourt that in Metternich's opinion the break 
ing up of the congress would serve the ends of peace. A 
midday on March 18 the congress was declared at an end 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 115 

Caulaincourt did not stay at Chatillon as he had in- 
tended. He wrote to Metternich on March 25 that he 
hoped to come to the head-quarters of the allies and con- 
clude peace, but received a very abrupt answer written 
on March 27. Metternich had been forced to give up his 
plan. The opinion of the allies began to turn in favour 
of the Bourbons. Shortly after this followed on March 22 
the interception of Napoleon's letter to Marie Louise, and 
the decision of the allies to march on Paris. 

At Saint Dizier'on March 28 Napoleon had an inter- 
esting conversation with an Austrian diplomat, Wessen- 
berg, who had been taken prisoner. He said : " I am ready 
to make great sacrifices. I surrender Spain, I renounce 
Germany, Italy, Switzerland; I will recognize the Prince 
of Orange in Holland, although I should have preferred 
a republic ; I consent to the aggrandizement of Holland. 
I am ready to give up all my colonies if I may have 
the mouth of the Scheldt. England cannot demand 
this, unless supported by Austria. Austria has nothing 
more to wish for ; she will obtain all she desires in 
Poland, Italy, and Germany. Can Metternich forget tl>at 
my marriage with an Austrian princess is his work ? Your 
Emperor cannot love his daughter ; if he loved her he 
would not be insensible to her sorrows. I made a great 
political mistake in marrying her. If I had married a 
Russian princess, I should not be where I am. But she 
is an incomparable woman. Her regency and that of 
the senate will be preferable to that of the Bourbons. If 
Austria is entrusted with full powers, peace will be made 
in two hours." This was to offer an Austrian regency as 
the price of an abdication; but the allies, under the 
influence of Alexander, had decided on the deposition of 
their enemy. 

Authorities. — Sorel, Fournier, and Houssaye are the principal 
authorities for this chapter, together with Bernhardi's Memoir of 
General Toll, which is of the highest value. 



CHAPTER X 
THE CAPTURE OF PARIS 

THE success of the French arms at this time 
was confined to Champagne, and the enemy 
was slowly advancing on other points of the 
frontier. In Belgium General Maison, with 
his small body of 15,000 men, was obliged to retire before 
the Duke of Saxe-Weimar with 30,000, supported by the 
army of the North under Bernadotte. Antwerp, com- 
manded by the famous Carnot, was besieged. In the 
Pyrenees Marshal Soult, with 50,000 conscripts, was no 
match for the 80,000 soldiers of Wellington. His gradual 
retreat has already been narrated. In Italy Prince Eugene 
was holding his own with difficulty against the Austrians 
on the Adige. After La Rothiere the Emperor thought of 
recalling him, but his subsequent victories made him 
change his determination, and Eugene remained in Italy. 
On the other hand, Marshal Suchet was in command of 
15,000 men in Spain, who, after the ratification of the 
Treaty of Valencay, would be available for service in 
France. 

Under the pressure of the victories of Napoleon the 
allies formed some important resolutions at Bar-sur-Aube 
on February 25. They determined that Bliicher should 
resume his march on Paris by way of Meaux, and that he 
should be supported by the corps of Bulow and Win- 
zingerode, both of them forming part of the army of the 
North, which now began to enter upon the scene. Also 

116 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 117 

to support Bubna they gave orders for a new corps to 
enter Switzerland under the command of the Prince of 
Hesse, to neutralize the efforts of Augereau. These two 
determinations were of the utmost importance, and indeed 
eventually decided the issue of the campaign in favour of 
the allies. 

As soon as the plan of action had been decided upon, 
Blucher put himself in motion to proceed from the Aube 
to the Marne, inclining slightly towards the north to meet 
the reinforcements which he had been told to expect. 
Marmont and Mortier did their best to hold him in check, 
but they were forced to retire. On February 28 he crossed 
the Marne at La Ferte-sous-Jouarre, while the two French 
marshals retired behind the Ourcq, which they held against 
the advancing Prussians. Blucher, on reaching the right 
bank of the Marne, found no traces either of Biilow or of 
Winzingerode, and he soon learnt that he would be attacked 
by Napoleon in person. 

The Emperor had desisted from the pursuit of the 
Austrians on February 26, leaving 40,000 men on the 
Aube under the command of Oudinot and Macdonald. 
Setting out from Troyes on February 27, he reached 
Sezanne on the following day, and arrived at La Ferte- 
sous-Jouarre on March 2 with an army of 35,000 fighting 
men. If Blucher had not taken the precaution to destroy 
the bridge across the Marne, the army of Silesia would 
have been destroyed. But he was now able during the 
next two days to cross the Oiircq and to retire upon 
the Aisne. His soldiers were in the worst extremity 
of fatigue and misery. In seventy-two hours they had 
fought three battles and made three night marches ; they 
had received no regular supply of provisions for a week. 
Some of the cavalry had not unsaddled for ten days; the 
horses were in a terrible condition; the artillery stuck 
hopelessly in the muddy roads, and quantities of ammu- 
nition had to be abandoned. The infantry marched bare- 



n8 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

footed and in rags, carrying rusty muskets, grumbling 
against their generals. 

There were two bridges across the Aisne in these parts, 
one at Soissons and one at Berry-au-Bac, but the fortified 
town of Soissons was held by a French garrison. 
Napoleon moved in the direction of Fismes, hoping to 
intercept the passage at Berry-au-Bac, that of Soissons 
being already closed. If he could succeed, Bliicher would 
have to fight a battle under the worst possible conditions, 
which could only result in complete disaster. But the 
unexpected happened. Winzingerode, instead of march- 
ing to Oulchy to join Bliicher, had undertaken the siege 
of Soissons with the hope of gaining possession of that 
important bridge. There was but little chance of the 
town surrendering. Indeed, the siege was on the point 
of being raised, when suddenly the commandant of the 
place, an old soldier without energy, lost his head at the 
first sound of the enemy's guns and capitulated after 
twenty-four hours' investment. Hardly was the ink of the 
convention dry when the cannon of the Emperor were 
heard on the banks of the Ourcq. Thus was all the fruit 
of Napoleon's brilliant manoeuvre lost. Bliicher crossed 
the Aisne safely on March 5 and retreated towards Laon. 
The rage of the Emperor at this cowardly act of treason 
may well be imagined. He wrote to Clarke, the Minister 
of War : " The enemy was in the greatest embarrassment, 
and we were hoping to reap the fruit of several days of 
labour, when the treason or stupidity of the commandant 
of Soissons delivered this fortress to him. Arrest this 
miserable wretch and the members of the council of 
defence, bring them before a court-martial composed of 
generals, and, in God's name, have them shot in the Place 
de Greve in twenty-four hours. It is time that example 
should be made." 

Napoleon now crossed the Aisne by the bridge of Berry- 
au-Bac, hoping to reach Laon before Bliicher. The 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 119 

Prussian marshal, wishing to attack the Emperor on the 
march, occupied the plateau of Craonne with 30,000 men, 
and it was necessary for Napoleon to dislodge them 
before he marched on to the city. This gave occasion to 
the battle of Craonne, fought on March 7, 18 14. The 
Russians were drawn up in three lines on the grand 
plateau, which could only be reached by difficult defiles. 
During several hours' conflict the French troops were not 
able to attain the plateau, until at length the Russian 
lines were broken by the artillery of Davout. Bliicher 
now perceived that a cavalry charge, which he had pre- 
pared with the design of dealing the French a decisive 
blow, could not be made with success, and he ordered the 
retreat of the Russians from the plateau. The battle was, 
therefore, undecided, and was certainly not a victory for 
Napoleon, because the allies were able to carry out their 
original intention of retiring to Laon. 

The city of Laon, crowned by its cathedral, is a natural 
fortress which dominates the surrounding plain. Bliicher 
established himself there strongly, and Napoleon en- 
deavoured to dislodge him, hoping in this way to prevent 
the advance to Paris. He therefore attacked the advance 
posts of the army of Silesia, towards the south, on 
March 9, and ordered Marmont to make a similar attack 
upon the east. Marmont did not arrive on the ground 
till late in the day, and with some difficulty established 
himself at Athies. He left his troops there for the night, 
going himself to sleep at the chateau of Eppes, some three 
miles off. 

In the evening the best soldiers of Marmont, wearied 
by eight hours of march and four of battle, were dispersed 
looking for food in the neighbouring farms, while the 
larger number, paralysed by cold and weakened by hunger, 
were sleeping like sheep in a pen round the bivouac fire§. 
At seven o'clock the Prussians penetrated into the village, 
and finding the troops in their first sleep cut them to 



120 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

pieces without resistance. In the meantime Kleist at- 
tacked in another direction with the cries of " Hurrah ! 
hurrah ! " Gunners were killed at their posts, and the 
guns were carried off already loaded. Simultaneously 
there was a third attack of 7000 Prussian cavalry. Mar- 
mont, aroused from his sleeping-place, arrived on the 
scene, but could do nothing, and it was only by the 
heroic efforts of Colonel Fabier that the rout was converted 
into a retreat. On the following day the corps of Mar- 
mont reached Berry-au-Bac, but only one-third of his 
troops answered to the roll-call ; 700 had been killed or 
wounded, and 2500 had been made prisoners. Only eight 
pieces of artillery escaped capture. 

Notwithstanding the destruction of Marmont's corps, 
which made his plan impossible to execute, Napoleon 
still continued to threaten Laon, hoping to intimidate 
Blucher into a retreat; but the marshal was too sure of his 
position to be frightened in this manner. All the attempts 
of the French to dislodge a vastly superior body of the 
enemy from extremely strong ground proved fruitless, 
and they at length retired to Soissons, having lost, al- 
together, more than six thousand men, killed, wounded, 
and taken prisoners, while the loss of the allies had only 
been about half that number. The check of Napoleon at 
Laon was the first consequence of the council of war at 
Bar-sur-Aube. Augereau had been compelled to stop his 
movements from Lyons towards the Jura, because the 
army of the Prince of Hesse had beaten the French at 
Poligny on March 4, and had withdrawn his forces in the 
direction of Lyons. 

It will be remembered that when Napoleon set out in 
pursuit of the army of Blucher, he had left behind him 
the corps of Macdonald and Oudinot. These were im- 
mediately attacked by Schwarzenberg, and were beaten 
at Vernonfays, upon which they retired to Troyes. They 
did not stay there long, but retreated first to Nogent and 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 121 

then to Provins, so that Schwarzenberg was again upon 
the Seine. The important town of Rheims also had been 
captured by a body of Russians under the command of 
Saint Priest, a lieutenant of Langeron. As soon as 
Napoleon heard of this he gave orders for Marmont to 
advance upon Rheims. He sent Ney there also, and left 
Soissons in person for the same place at daybreak on 
March 13. Saint Priest could hardly believe that he was 
being attacked by the French, whom he supposed to be a 
long way off. The Emperor arrived at Rheims at four 
o'clock in the afternoon, and immediately gave orders for 
the assault. Saint Priest soon recognized by the number 
of the enemy and by the vigour of the attack that 
Napoleon was present in person. He immediately began 
to give orders for the retreat, but was mortally wounded 
by a fragment of shell which shattered his shoulder. The 
battle continued during the night, but the Russians were 
eventually defeated, and Napoleon gained possession of 
the town, thus establishing himself on the lines of com- 
munication of both the hostile armies. 

When Napoleon set out to follow Bliicher on February 27, 
he had formed the whole plan of campaign in his mind. 
He intended to crush the army of Silesia, and to drive it 
beyond the upper waters of the Oise, then to collect the 
garrisons of the fortresses in the north-east, and to return 
with 10,000 sabres and 40,000 bayonets to the rear of the 
grand army of the allies, which was opposed in front by 
Macdonald, and harassed on its left flank by Augereau. 
But everything had turned against him. Bliicher had been 
saved by the capitulation of Soissons, and the stubborn 
resistance of the army of Silesia at Craonne, and at Laon, 
as well as the retreat of Macdonald on Provins, and of 
Augereau on Lyons, rendered this whole scheme im- 
possible. But the capture of Rheims brought his original 
project back to the mind of the Emperor. He thought 
that it would be possible to surprise Schwarzenberg in 



122 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

his operations, defeat one or two of his divisions, and, 
when the grand army was in retreat, march upon Lorraine. 

Between March n arid 16 Schwarzenberg had driven 
the troops of Macdonald from Nogent to Provins and 
from Provins to Nangis, but when he heard of the capture 
of Rheims, he had stopped his advance and begun his 
retreat anew, being afraid of a movement of Napoleon on 
his communications. He wrote on March 12: "I have no 
news, and I must confess that I tremble. If Bliicher is 
defeated, can I risk a battle myself? for if I am conquered, 
what a triumph for Napoleon, and what humiliation for 
the sovereigns to have to recross the Rhine at the head of 
a conquered army!" On March 17 Napoleon was still 
hesitating as to whether he should join Macdonald and 
meet the enemy face to face, or whether he should march 
to Troyes in order to fall upon the flank or rear of the 
allies. The first plan was in his opinion the safer, but he 
chose the second because it was the bolder. Before setting 
out he sent orders to Marmont and Mortier to use every 
effort to keep Bliicher behind the Aisne ; if he did not 
succeed in this they were to retire towards Paris, disputing 
every position on the road. They had with them a force 
of 25,000 men ; Mortier was invested with the command, 
but the Emperor had more confidence in Marmont. 

On Thursday, March 17, the Emperor left Rheims with 
his Old Guard, that " moving citadel/ 1 as Houssaye calls 
it, which was always attached to his steps, and on the 
evening of the same day he slept at Epernay. The next 
morning, starting early, he continued his march south- 
wards, towards Fere-Champenoise, whilst Ney was pro- 
ceeding from Chalons to Mailly, along a parallel road to 
the east. The head-quarters of the allies were now at 
Troyes, and they were in great confusion and embarrass- 
ment. Schwarzenberg was divided between two objects, 
to hold back Macdonald on his front, and to engage 
Napoleon on his flank ; he consequently spread his 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 123 

army over a semicircle of eighty miles. The Emperor 
Alexander, seeing the danger of this arrangement, insisted 
on an alteration, and gave orders which implied a retreat 
upon Bar-sur-Aube. Schwarzenberg passed from the 
heights of confidence to the depths of pusillanimity. At 
1 p.m. he was holding Macdonald behind the Seine, and 
fighting a battle with Napoleon between the Marne and 
the Aube ; at 8 p.m. he left all this ground open to his 
adversaries, and retreated thirty miles with an army of 
100,000 before an army of 50,000. 

Napoleon was, not unnaturally, ill-informed of the 
situation. He believed that the great army was on the 
right bank of the Seine fighting with Macdonald ; he 
therefore determined to march straight on to Arcis-sur- 
Aube and to traverse its rear. But arriving at Fere- 
Champenoise, he heard of Schwarzenberg's retreat, and, 
changing his plans, prepared to cross the Aube at 
Boulages and the Seine at Mery, Ney at the same time 
making a parallel march. Napoleon met with so little 
resistance at the passage of these rivers that he became 
convinced that the grand army was retiring by forced 
marches on Brienne or Bar-sur-Aube. This confirmed 
his opinion that the safest plan he could adopt would be 
to march towards the garrisons of Lorraine, and, collect- 
ing all available troops, throw himself on the rear of the 
allies with an army of 90,000 men. For this purpose 
he determined to march on Vitry-le-Francois and to 
close the road which passed by Arcis-sur-Aube. On the 
morning of March 20 he wrote to the Minister of War : 
" My movements have been perfectly successful. I shall 
neglect Troyes and march with all haste upon my for- 
tresses " ; and again : " I am starting for Vitry." He 
contemplated as a possibility the capture of Paris by the 
allies, feeling that all measures of security had been taken, 
and that whatever his head-quarters were, there was the 
capital of the empire. 



I2 4 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

It happened, from some reason which has not been 
sufficiently explained, that Schwarzenberg was on March 19 
seized with an access of energy, and suddenly determined 
to stop his retreat and to engage Napoleon. Consequently 
on the following day the first columns of the allies 
fell unexpectedly on the French positions at Arcis and 
Torcy, situated on either side of the Aube, and drove 
them back in great confusion. Napoleon, galloping up, 
restored order at great personal risk. Finding that his 
troops were fleeing pell-mell over the bridge, he rode to 
the end of it, faced the fugitives, and cried in a voice of 
thunder : " Who will dare to cross the bridge before me ? " 
At another time, when even the firmness of the Guard 
seemed to waver, he rode his horse close up to a shell 
and remained till it exploded. The horse was killed, but 
the Emperor was uninjured. None of the " bear-skins " 
could show terror after that. 

Night put an end to the conflict. For the space of 
eight hours the French had held their ground, under a 
terrible fire of artillery, first 7500 against 14,000, then 
13,000 against 20,000, and at last 16,000 against 25,000, 
and they had not lost an inch of ground. During the 
whole of this time Napoleon believed that he was engaged 
only with a detachment of the grand army, and therefore 
determined to continue the battle on the following day. 
But he very soon discovered that the whole of the army of 
Bohemia was before him, and that it was no good to 
struggle any longer with 27,000 men against 100,000. 
He therefore retired by the bridge of Arcis. The allies 
attacked the town, but every street and every house was 
defended, and by the time they gained possession of it 
the passage of the Aube was secured. 

After the two battles of Arcis-sur-Aube Napoleon con- 
tinued, with more boldness than prudence, his march 
towards the fortresses of Lorraine and upon the communi- 
cations of the allied armies. On the afternoon of March 23 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 125 

he entered Saint Dizier, which lies between the two routes 
which the armies of Bliicher and Schwarzenberg had 
followed from Strasburg and Basel. He had no doubt 
that the grand army would return and fight him; but 
until he knew which route it would follow, he was reduced 
to inaction. Schwarzenberg was equally ignorant of the 
direction of Napoleon's march, and also waited for informa- 
tion. Suddenly an intercepted despatch gave the allies 
the light which they desired. A council of war was held 
at Pougy on March 23, and opinions were much divided. 
Some were in favour of a retreat, others were in favour 
of abandoning the communication with Switzerland and 
marching on Chalons to approach the army of Bliicher. 
This important resolution was eventually adopted, although 
Schwarzenberg stigmatized it as rash. 

Intercepted despatches had determined the march on 
Chalons ; information of a similar character was to pro- 
duce even more important results. This was contained 
in letters from high functionaries of the Empire, describing 
the exhaustion of the treasury, the arsenal, and the 
magazines, and the growing discontent of the population. 
Schwarzenberg had not paid much attention to these 
despatches, and having opened communications with 
Bliicher, was now preparing to pursue Napoleon with the 
two armies united. But the letters made a great impres- 
sion on the mind of the Emperor Alexander, and he spent 
a sleepless night in their contemplation. The King of 
Prussia and Schwarzenberg had already left in pursuit of 
Napoleon, but Alexander remained behind at Sommepuis. 
He summoned his Russian generals to his presence, and 
asked them : " Now that our communications with Bliicher 
are re-established, ought we to continue the pursuit of 
Napoleon, or should we march directly on Paris ? " Barclay 
de Tolly was strongly in favour of continuing the pursuit ; 
Diebich was in favour of dividing the army into two 
portions, one to pursue Napoleon, the other to march on 



126 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Paris — a fatal suggestion. At hearing this, General Toll 
cried : " There is only one thing to be done under our 
present circumstances — to march on Paris as quickly as 
possible with all our forces, and to send ten thousand 
cavalry against Napoleon to mask our movement." 
Diebich then followed on the same side. Barclay was at 
length convinced, and the Tsar mounted his horse to join 
Schwarzenberg. After an hour's ride he came up with 
him between Sommepuis and Vitry. The sovereigns and 
the generals held an improvised council of war at the 
side of the road. Alexander having explained his scheme, 
the King of Prussia strongly approved of it, but the 
Austrians still vigorously opposed. At length, with great 
reluctance, Schwarzenberg gave his adhesion to this new 
plan of campaign, and it was agreed that on the following- 
day, Friday, March 25, the two united armies should begin 
their advance upon the capital, whilst Winzingerode should 
follow Napoleon in the direction of Saint Dizier, and do his 
best to make him believe that he was being pursued by 
the whole army of the coalition. 

On March 25 the two armies began their march on 
Paris with a body of 200,000 men. On the same day they 
came into conflict with the troops of Marshals Marmont 
and Mortier at Fere-Champenoise, which they drove back 
after some resistance. On the same day also, a little to 
the north, some thousands of national guards, who were 
escorting a large convoy of 100 artillery wagons and 
80 other vehicles, with munitions of war, and 200,000 
rations of bread and brandy, were attacked by the army 
of Silesia ; they defended themselves with heroic courage, 
and rather than surrender suffered themselves to be 
destroyed to a man. The Emperor of Russia, who 
witnessed the close of the engagement, never forgot the 
lesson which it taught. The two marshals continued their 
retreat towards Paris, making a long detour by Provins, in 
order to avoid their advancing foes. The allies marched 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 127 

up to the outskirts of the capital without meeting any 
resistance^ except that of a small body commanded by 
Compans, who disputed their ground foot by foot for 
three days from Meaux to Pantin. On the evening of 
March 29 the allies encamped before Paris. 

We left Napoleon at Saint Dizier, waiting for news of the 
march of his enemies. On March 25, being still ignorant 
of their advance upon Paris, but hearing that Bar-sur- 
Aube and Troyes had been evacuated, he decided to occupy 
these towns, in order more effectually to intercept their 
communications, and moved for that purpose to Doulevant, 
some twelve miles to the south ; but hearing that some 
Austrian cavalry, part of the detachment of Winzingerode, 
had shown themselves in the direction of Saint Dizier, he 
returned and dispersed them. They left in his hands 2000 
prisoners and 18 guns, and lost 500 men killed or wounded. 
The victory, however, brought great confusion to the mind 
of the Emperor ; he believed that he was engaged with 
the army of Schwarzenberg, and found that he was fight- 
ing the army of Blucher. How could Blucher, who a few 
days ago was threatening Soissons, be now on the frontiers 
of Lorraine? and how could Schwarzenberg, who was 
marching on Vitry, have disappeared so suddenly ? At 
length, on the afternoon of Sunday, March 27, when be- 
fore Vitry, he learnt the undoubted news that the allies 
were marching on Paris. He immediately mounted his 
horse, rode off to Saint Dizier, and buried himself in his 
reports, his maps, and his plans. He knew that the 
sceptre and the sword were trembling in his hands. 

There is little doubt that if left to himself he would 
have abandoned Paris to her fate and have continued his 
operations, but he was overruled by the opinion of his 
generals, and at eleven at night orders were issued for an 
advance on the capital by way of Bar-sur-Aube, Troyes, 
and Fontainebleau. He reached Troyes on the night of 
March 29, and after a few hours' sleep left again at break 



128 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

of day, committing the charge of the army to Berthier, 
who was ordered to lead it to Fontainebleau. He intended 
to sleep at Villeneuve-sur-Vanne, but his impatience over- 
came him. He threw himself into a post-chaise with 
Caulaincourt, and galloped at full speed on the road to 
Paris. 

On that very day, Wednesday, March 30, 1814, the 
decisive battle was being fought under the walls of the 
capital. Paris, at that time, was not fortified, and during 
the two months of the campaign nothing had been done 
either by Clarke, the Minister of War, or by King Joseph, 
who was President of the Council of Regency, to place it 
in a condition of defence. Napoleon himself had given 
no positive orders with regard to it. Putting things 
at their very best, not more than 43,000 soldiers and 
militia could be got together to oppose the vast forces 
of the allies. Under these circumstances honour might 
be preserved, but victory was impossible. To make this 
last effort, Marmont established himself on the plateau 
of Romainville, and in front of Pantin ; Mortier was to 
the north in front of La Villete and La Chapelle. The 
soldiers of Marmont defended their ground with the 
utmost heroism, but the plateau was captured by force of 
numbers, and he withdrew to Belleville and M£nilmontant, 
where he held out for several hours. But the allies occu- 
pied Charonne and drove Mortier back to the very gates 
of the city, capturing Montmartre and assaulting the 
barrier of Clichy, which was defended by the aged Marshal 
Moncey. At four o'clock in the afternoon Marmont, using 
the power which Joseph had given to him, began negotia- 
tions for a capitulation. The French evacuated the city 
during the night, and the allies made their triumphal 
entry on the following day. 

Meanwhile Napoleon, hastening with all speed towards 
the capital, was receiving bad news at every post-house. 
At Sens he heard that the enemy were approaching Paris ; 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 129 

at Fontainebleau that the Empress had left for Blois ; at 
Essonnes that a battle was being fought. At last, at 
eleven o'clock at night, he reached the post-house of Fro- 
menteau, called La Cour-de-France, about fourteen miles 
from Paris. Here he learnt the news of the capitulation 
from General Belliard. He refused to yield to circum- 
stances : he would go to Paris, sound the tocsin, illuminate 
the town, call the whole population to arms ; and he drove 
on to Athis, two miles farther. From this point he saw 
the bivouac fires of the enemy on the left bank of the Seine 
and met the advanced guard of Mortier. He returned to 
La Cour-de-France, despatched Caulaincourt to Paris with 
full power to treat for peace, shut himself up in a room 
and busied himself with his maps, 

At daybreak he received a messenger from Caulaincourt, 
and shortly afterwards a letter from Marmont. He now 
knew that everything was lost, and, wearied out with 
fatigue, returned to Fontainebleau, which he reached at 
six o'clock in the morning. He was joined here in the 
succeeding days by the remains of his army. 



CHAPTER XI 
THE TREATY OF FONTAINEBLEAU 

IN the absence of Napoleon from Paris Talleyrand 
became master of the situation. He was at this 
time in favour of the accession of Napoleon II with 
a regency. He hoped for Napoleon's death or for 
his abdication. He was opposed to the restoration of the 
Bourbons because he did not know how he would stand 
with Louis XVIII. He could get on well enough with the 
Comte d'Artois, but he could not submit to receive either 
pardon or condonance from his brother. But his views 
gradually changed, and he began to favour the return of the 
legitimate family and a constitutional monarchy. The allies 
were to recross the Rhine, and peace was to be negotiated 
outside the frontiers of France. He regarded himself as 
the author of peace for France, and as the king-maker of 
the new sovereign. The council of regency met on 
March 28, and in defiance of the express orders of Napoleon 
not to separate the government and his family, sent the 
Empress and the King of Rome to Rambouillet, while 
Joseph remained at Paris. However, three days later, 
after the signing of the capitulation, Joseph and the govern- 
ment left, and the allies entered the capital. 

It was Sunday, a superb spring day ; the boulevards 
were filled with holiday crowds. The shops were shut, 
while their owners stayed sulkily at home, but the world of 
fashion thronged the streets in their best attire. Alexander 
was the central figure of the procession, accompanied by 

13° 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 131 

the King of Prussia, by Schwarzenberg, Barclay de Tolley 
and Blucher, followed by the redoubtable Cossacks, by 
columns of infantry, with their bands playing, by artillery 
and a noble cavalry. There were cries of "Long live 
Alexander ! " " Long live our liberator ! " Only a few cried 
"Long live the Bourbons !" Alexander was radiant, 
dressed in a modest uniform, mounted on a grey horse. 
He looked like a young god, with the aureole of triumph 
upon his brow. 

When Alexander had reviewed the troops in the Champs 
Elysees he took up his abode in Talleyrand's house, the 
Hotel St. Florentine. Nesselrode had preceded him, and 
had found Talleyrand dressing. He tells us that Talley- 
rand embraced him, and covered him with powder from his 
fresh-dressed wig. The Duke Dalberg, the Abb6 de Pradt 
and the Baron Louis joined the party. Nesselrode told 
them that Alexander was determined not to leave Napo- 
leon on the throne of France. Alexander himself was in 
favour of Bernadotte, but Talleyrand objected. "Why 
choose a soldier, when we reject the first of all soldiers? 
Neither you, Sire, nor the allies, nor I, can give a king to 
France. The selection must be based on a principle ; the 
only possible principle is legitimacy, and Louis XVIII is 
the legitimate king." At three in the afternoon a declar- 
ation, drawn up by Dalberg and Nesselrode, was issued, 
signed by the Tsar. It proclaimed that the sovereigns 
refused to treat either with Bonaparte or with any member 
of his family; that they would respect the integrity of 
France as it had existed under the legitimate sovereign, 
and that they might even go beyond this ; that the choice 
of a provisional government and the drafting of a consti- 
tution was left to the Senate. The Senate pronounced the 
deposition of Napoleon, and favoured the return of the 
Bourbons. 

Let us return to the victims of this revolution. Joseph 
summoned the council of regency to meet at the 



132 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Tuileries on March 28 at half-past eight in the evening, 
under the presidency of the Empress. It was to decide 
whether the Empress and her son were to remain at Paris 
or not. Clarke, the Minister of War, argued in favour of 
departure, but the other members of the Council were 
opposed to him. They said that the departure of the 
Empress would discourage the citizens, would prove to 
them that all hope was lost, and make the defence of the 
capital impossible. When the vote was taken, all excepting 
Clarke were opposed to the departure, Joseph remaining 
neutral Joseph then read a letter from Napoleon, order- 
ing that the Empress and the King of Rome should leave 
the capital if it were threatened. He did not make it 
clear that in this case the whole of the Government was to 
leave as well. The Council were compelled to submit, 
and they decided that the departure should take place at 
eight o'clock the following morning, and that the Regent 
and her son should go to Rambouillet. The meeting 
broke up at two in the morning, the members deeply re- 
gretting the resolution to which they had arrived. Even 
Joseph himself, and Cambaceres, followed the Empress into 
her apartments, begging her by the exercise of her own 
will to reverse the decision, but she had not the courage to 
do so. The night was spent in preparations. Joseph 
absented himself to escape responsibility. The Empress 
deferred her departure, awaiting the return of Joseph. She 
went into her bedroom, threw her bonnet on the bed, sank 
into an arm-chair and wept. At half-past ten Clarke sent 
an aide-de-camp to urge her departure ; if she delayed she 
would fall into the hands of the Cossacks. The little King 
of Rome refused to move. He said to his mother, " Do 
not let us go to Rambouillet ; it is a wretched place. Let 
us remain here." He struggled in the arms of his bearer, 
he clutched at the doors, at the rail of the staircase, crying 
with all his might, " I will not leave my house ; I won't go 
away. Since papa is not here, I am the master/' seeking, 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 133 

poor child, to avoid his inevitable fate. The carriages 
moved slowly, ten large berlines — the carriage of the 
coronation with its ornaments covered up, the luggage 
and the escort. They passed along the quays in a dreary 
silence. At the Champs Elysees the Empress, her eyes 
full of tears, leant out of the carriage to take a last fare- 
well of the city in which she had spent four happy years. 
Caulaincourt, sent by Napoleon, had interviews with the 
Tsar at Bondy and at the Hotel St. Florentin. He offered 
the terms of Chatillon, but the Tsar declared that peace 
with Napoleon would only be a truce. He did not, how- 
ever, seem entirely to reject the idea of an abdication and a 
regency. 

Napoleon had returned to Fontainebleau on March 31, 
the day on which the allies entered Paris. When he heard 
of this he said to Marmont that peace was now impos- 
sible, and that he must continue the war at all hazards. 
The Emperor was in deep distress; the only thing which 
could rouse him was the sight of his soldiers. An eye- 
witness tells us that when he was present at the mounting 
of the guard in the courtyard of the Palace on April 2, 
his countenance became radiant, and he was once more 
the glorious and prosperous Napoleon of the Tuileries, of 
Schonbrunn, and of Potzdam. At night Caulaincourt 
returned from Paris. He told his master that the Senate 
had deposed him, and that the allies insisted on his abdica- 
tion. He was fired with indignation. He spent April 3 
in completing his arrangements. He summoned his 
officers, and said to them, " I have offered to the Emperor 
Alexander a peace at the price of great sacrifices, France 
with her former frontiers. He has refused ; he allows the 
troops to wear the white cockade. I will attack Paris. I 
count on you. Am I right ?" A shout of assent thun- 
dered "Vive FEmpereur! To Paris!" « Tell your soldiers," 
he said, and the soldiers gave their assent in the same 
manner. 



134 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

But the generals stood aloof, Ney their leader. He with 
Lefebvre and Moncey broke into Napoleon's study. Ney 
said, "Sire, it is time to end this. Your situation is 
desperate ; you must make up your mind and abdicate for 
the King of Rome." Napoleon discussed the situation, but 
Ney interrupted, " It is impossible. The army will not 
follow you; you have lost its confidence." "The army has 
still obedience enough to punish your rebellion/' said his 
master. Their eyes met, and Ney quailed. His spirit 
sank, and he murmured, " Do not be afraid. We are not 
come here to enact a tragedy as at St. Petersburg." The 
next day Macdonald arrived, and announced his agreement 
with the others. At eleven the Emperor came to breakfast 
in company with Ney, Berthier, Caulaincourt, Moncey, 
Maret, and Lefebvre. After a hearty meal they went into 
the next room. Napoleon stalked up and down, his eyes 
fixed on the ground. Suddenly he stopped before Caulain- 
court, and said, " I will abdicate." " Sire," said Moncey, 
"you are saving France." When the act of abdication 
was completed, Macdonald entered the room. After 
some discussion the Emperor said, " I have desired the 
glory and happiness of France. I have not succeeded. I 
abdicate and retire." 

In the meantime every effort had been made to tamper 
with the fidelity of Marmont ; Talleyrand was the main- 
spring of these intrigues, Schwarzenberg the instrument. 
The vanity of Marmont was roused. He would be the 
" Monk " of the situation, the new sovereign of France 
would owe his crown to him. His name would live in 
history, and he would preserve his property and his 
fortune. He wrote a letter to Schwar7enberg, saying that 
public interests had always directed his conduct, that by 
the decree of the Senate the army and the people had 
been released from their oath of fidelity to the Emperor, 
that he was ready to effect a junction between the army 
and the people, to prevent a civil war and the effusion of 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 135 

French blood. He agreed to separate his division from 
the army of Napoleon on the condition that he should be 
allowed to march into Normandy, and that, if his former 
sovereign should fall into the hands of the allies, life and 
liberty should be guaranteed to him. Nothing of these 
negotiations was known at Fontainebleau. There Cau- 
laincourt, Ney, and Macdonald were designated as plenipo- 
tentiaries, with orders to meet Marmont and Moncey, and 
to make to Marmont the offer of accompanying them to 
Paris. They arrived at four in the afternoon, and Mar- 
mont, conscious of his treachery, was thrown into the 
greatest embarrassment. He avowed what he had done, 
to the dismay of the others, who pointed out the fatal 
character of his conduct; but he declared that nothing was 
decided, and that he would break off the negotiations. 
He agreed to accompany them to Paris, happy, himself, 
to escape the danger of arrest, while the others were glad 
to prevent the execution of his design. He left the com- 
mand of his division to Souham, but ordered that the 
soldiers should be informed of the abdication of the 
Emperor. On his way to Paris he had an interview with 
Schwarzenberg, who refused to release him from his 
written promise. 

On arriving at Talleyrand's house, they went straight to 
the apartment of Alexander, and announced to him the 
abdication of the Emperor. Alexander declared that it 
was too late, but he was touched by their arguments, and 
promised to confer with the allies. When the members of 
the provisional government met immediately afterwards, 
he pleaded the cause of the regency, but encountered 
opposition. Discussions continued till two in the morning, 
and Alexander promised to give his answer on the follow- 
ing day. During the night the army of Marmont passed 
into the Austrian lines, by the order of Souham, who had 
been summoned, with Marmont and the other generals, to 
Fontainebleau, and was anxious to protect his life from the 



136 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

provost-marshal. The troops did not know where they 
were going or whither they had gone until they found 
themselves surrounded by their enemies. This defection 
deprived Napoleon of his weapons. It was impossible to 
fight a last battle before Paris. Alexander regarded the 
event as a work of Providence, a special interposition in 
his favour. God had spoken : there was no more room for 
doubt or hesitation. 

The next morning at nine o'clock Caulaincourt and the 
marshals were received by Alexander and the King of 
Prussia. Alexander announced to them that the allies had 
refused the abdication. Napoleon should be sovereign of 
the island of Elba, with the title of Emperor ; his family 
should have pensions. If this did not suit him, let him 
come to Russia, where he would be received as sovereign, 
and where he could count on the affection of his old ally. 
The emissaries returned to Fontainebleau about midnight. 
Napoleon was asleep, but he was awakened. " Have 
you succeeded ? " he asked. " Partly," replied Ney, " but 
not for the regency. It was too late ; the Senate will 
recognize the Bourbons to-morrow," " Where am I to live 
with my family ? " " Where your Majesty wishes ; for 
instance, in the island of Elba, with an income of six 
millions." <f Six millions. That is a great deal. What shall 
I do with it? I only need a louis a day. I am now nothing 
but a simple soldier. I desired the happiness of France, 
but I was deceived." The English plenipotentiaries did 
not approve of Elba as a residence for Napoleon, they 
thought it too near to France, and likely to cause trouble 
in Italy. Castlereagh hinted that Napoleon might seek an 
asylum in England, and the idea had previously occurred 
to Napoleon himself, who spoke of it to Caulaincourt. 
Metternich also objected to Elba. But Alexander always 
returned the same answer, " I have given my word." The 
next day, April n, the formal act of abdication was 
delivered to the allies, and the treaty, generally known as 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 137 

the Treaty of Fontainebleau, was signed at Paris by Metter- 
nich for Austria, Nesselrode for Russia, and Hardenberg 
for Prussia, and by Ney, Macdonald and Caulaincourt for 
Napoleon, Napoleon himself ratifying it on the following 
day. It was not signed by any English representative, but 
it was ratified by England on April 27 so far as the 
stipulations with regard to Elba and the Italian duchies 
were concerned. There is no doubt that during the night 
between April 12 and 13 Napoleon endeavoured to poison 
himself; but the poison which he had kept with him for a 
long time had lost its efficacy. He remained after this a 
passive spectator of events. 

The Treaty of Fontainebleau is so important a document, 
and has been so little understood, that it is necessary to give 
a full account of it. It consists of eighteen articles. The 
first article declares that Napoleon Bonaparte renounces for 
himself, his successors and descendants, as well as for each 
of the members of his family, all rights of sovereignty and 
domination over the French Empire, the Kingdom of 
Italy, and all other countries. He and his consort are to 
preserve during their life the titles of Emperor and 
Empress, and the members of his family the titles with 
which they have been invested. He is to possess during 
his life the island of Elba in complete sovereignty, and is 
to receive an annual revenue of two millions of francs from 
the 'Grand Livre' of France, the Empress to have the 
reversion. The duchies of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla 
are to be given in complete sovereignty to the Empress 
Marie Louise, and after her, to her son and to his descen- 
dants. The Bonaparte family is to receive an income of 
two millions and a half in land or revenue, of which they 
shall have the absolute property ; they are also to keep 
whatever property they may possess. Josephine is to 
receive an income of a million, independently of her lands 
and other property. Eugene Beauharnais is to have an 
establishment outside France. The corvette which carries 



138 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Bonaparte to the island of Elba is to remain his property, 
and he may take with him a guard of 400 men. The 
Frenchmen who go with him to Elba, are to lose their 
nationality if they do not return to France within three 
years. This treaty was, as we shall see, shamefully 
violated, but it should be mentioned that it was never 
formally recognized by Louis XVIII. 

Napoleon stayed at Fontainebleau a week after this, and 
we have the best account of what passed there from the 
narration of Sir Neil Campbell, who was sent by the 
English government to accompany him to Elba. His 
first interview with Napoleon was on April 17. He tells 
us that he saw before him a short, active-looking man, who 
was rapidly pacing the length of his apartments like some 
wild animal in his cell. He was dressed in an old green 
uniform with gold epaulets, blue pantaloons, and red top- 
boots, unshaven, uncombed, with the fallen particles of 
snuff scattered profusely upon his upper lip and breast. 
When he became aware of Campbell's presence he turned 
quickly; towards him and endeavoured to conceal his 
anxiety and agitation by an assumed placidity of manner. 
He asked him many questions about his wounds and his 
service in the army. He spoke highly of Wellington, 
saying that he was a man of energy in war, and that such 
qualities were necessary to carry on war successfully. 
About the English he said, " Your nation is the greatest 
of all. I esteem it more than all the rest. I have been 
held your greatest enemy, frankly such, but I am so no 
longer. I desired also to raise the French nation, but my 
plans have not succeeded. It is destiny." Here he stopped 
short, and seemed greatly affected, tears being in his eyes. 
He expressed Ja wish that a British man-of-war should 
accompany the corvette which was to take him to Elba, or 
that he might embark on a British ship. He terminated 
the conversation by saying, " Well, I am at your disposal. 
I am your subject. I depend entirely upon you." 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 139 

Napoleon did not leave the palace. He was constantly 
occupied in seeing officers who came from the army, from 
Paris, and from Rambouillet, where the Empress was then 
staying, and in making arrangements for his departure. 
He sent off a number of wagons with luggage, but the 
treasure-chest of the army, containing about five millions 
of francs, he kept with himself. He gave away books, manu- 
scripts, swords, pistols, and decorations to officers who were 
with him. He read in the daily papers everything which 
took place at Paris. Campbell reports that he desired 
Caulaincourt to inform the allied sovereigns that if proper 
arrangements were not made for his safety, he should 
prefer to go to England, saying, "It is a great nation. I 
am sure to be in safety and to be treated with generosity." 

He added, however, " But in my island I shall be as if I 
were in a London street." He also relates that Macdonald, 
meeting Marmont at Paris, said to him, " Miserable man ! 
It is you who have prevented the dynasty of Napoleon 
from occupying the throne." " How so ? " he replied. " I 
acted for the best advantage of my country." When 
Marmont said that he would have given one of his limbs 
to undo what had been done, Macdonald answered, " One 
of your limbs ! All your blood cannot change it now," and 
reproached him bitterly for his ingratitude. 

At length the fateful morning of April 20 dawned. 
Napoleon bitterly complained to the Austrian commis- 
sioner that his wife and child had not been allowed to 
join him, and that the guns and stores had been withdrawn 
from the island of Elba, thus leaving him without defence. 
He did not wish for a kingdom, and had therefore not 
asked for Corsica, but he wished for protection against the 
Barbary pirates. As he spoke again about his separation 
from his wife and child, tears rolled down his cheeks. He 
then said to Campbell, " I have been a bitter enemy of 
your nation. I avow it, but I am so no longer. I esteem 
you English more than all other nations. I am separated 



140 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

from the Empress in order to leave me in Elba without 
defence. If they act with trickery towards me I shall ask 
for an asylum in England. Do you think they will receive 
me there ?" Campbell replied that the sovereign and 
the nation would always keep their engagements with 
generosity and fidelity. " Yes/' remarked Napoleon, " I 
feel sure that they will not refuse me." He then paced 
up and down the room, and eventually said, " Well, we 
will leave to-day." Then followed the famous "Adieux 
de Fontainebleau." The door of his study opened, the 
aide-de-camp called out " L'Empereur ! " and he passed 
with a salute and a smile to the head of the stairs and 
down into the court towards his carriage, which was drawn 
up between two ranks of the Old Guards. Calling for the 
officers, commissioned and non-commissioned, and for the 
foreign representatives, he addressed them in the well- 
known speech which need not here be produced in full. 
He began, " I bid you farewell. For twenty years I have 
found you always brave and faithful, marching in the path 
of glory. ... As for you soldiers, be always faithful in 
the path of duty and honour. Serve your new sovereign 
with fidelity. The sweetest occupation of my life will be 
henceforth to make known to posterity all the great things 
you have done, and my only consolation will be to learn 
all that France will do for the glory of its name. You are 
all my children ; I would embrace you all, but I will em- 
brace you all in the person of your general." He then 
kissed General Petit on both cheeks. " I will embrace 
these eagles which have served us as guides in so many 
dangers and days of glory." He then gave a long loving 
embrace to the standard, and finally lifted up his left hand 
and said, *' Adieu ! Keep me in your remembrance." The 
carriage set off at a gallop. Of the men and officers, some 
wept, some were silent, and some cried, " Vive TEmpereur ! " 
The first night was spent at Briare in a large hotel, the 
second night at Nevers, and the third at Roanne. Napoleon 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 141 

and Augereau met beyond Lyons and Valence. They 
embraced ; Napoleon took off his hat, but Augereau re- 
plied with only a formal salute. Campbell left Napoleon 
at Roanne, but reports on the authority of the commis- 
sioners that the enmity of the inhabitants towards the 
fallen Emperor increased in violence as he travelled south- 
wards. At Orange the women and boys clambered upon 
the carriage, and were with difficulty driven off. Several 
large stones were thrown at his equipage, but without 
effect. Napoleon, naturally not wishing to be massacred, 
left the carriage, mounted one of the horses, put on a 
plain overcoat and a round hat with a white cockade, and 
rode on in front. During the remainder of the journey 
he changed uniforms with the commissioners, and took 
alternately the names of Colonel Campbell and Lord 
Burghersh. 

The fears of assassination were not idle, for on the 
night of April 18 the Marquis de Orsvault, an accom- 
plished villain, left Paris with the ostensible object of 
preventing treasure and jewels being carried off by the 
Imperial family, but with the real object of getting rid of 
Napoleon by assassinating him on the journey. The cap- 
ture of the diamonds was thought of more importance than 
the sacrifice of the victim, but the written order was pre- 
served for future blackmail. Meanwhile the agony con- 
tinued. At Avignon the Imperial carriages were stopped 
and the eagles defaced. If Napoleon had been present he 
would certainly have been killed. Similar insults took 
place at Orgon. At last the fallen Emperor arrived at 
Frejus, having spent some time with his sister Pauline at 
a villa in the neighbourhood. 

Napoleon and his suite left Frejus in carriages at sunset 
on April 28. The barge of the English man-of-war, the 
Undaunted, met them at the beach. He embarked with 
Captain Ussher and General Bertrand, and was received 
with a salute of twenty-one guns. It was a bright moon- 



142 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

light night, with little wind. A regiment of cavalry was 
drawn up on the beach and among the trees. The sound 
of the bugles, the neighing of horses, the voices of the 
crowd who came to bid their master farewell, formed 
a picturesque and touching scene. Napoleon, on the 
Undaunted, had the whole of the after cabin to himself, 
while Generals Bertrand and Drouot slept in the half of 
the captain's cabin, which was screened off. In the other 
half he breakfasted at ten, and dined at six. His conduct 
secured the respect of all, and his relief from his previous 
anxieties soon restored him to excellent health. The sea 
was rather rough, but Napoleon remained constantly on 
deck, and was not affected by the motion of the ship, 
which seriously inconvenienced the other Frenchmen. At 
Capraja a deputation came on board requesting that the 
English flag should be hoisted for the protection of the 
island. On the afternoon of May 3 they arrived off Porto 
Ferrajo, the capital of Elba, but it was too calm for the 
frigate to enter the harbour. The next morning he rowed 
round the harbour, and when he returned to the ship 
determined on the flag of Elba, argent a bend gules, 
charged with three bees or, perhaps a reminiscence of his 
own family coat. He landed finally in his new dominion 
at two in the afternoon. 

Authorities. — In this chapter, besides the works already mentioned, 
we have the assistance of Masson, of Neil Campbell, and of XJssher. 



CHAPTER XII 

ELBA 

ON disembarking at the Porto del Mare, the 
Emperor was received by the mayor, who 
presented to him the keys of the town on a 
silver salver. This dignitary had prepared and 
written out a speech, but his nervousness would not permit 
him to say a word. The vicar-general then brought 
forward a canopy decorated with gold paper, under which 
Napoleon took his place, and the procession moved towards 
the cathedral. The Emperor wore his green uniform, with 
white breeches, and shoes with gold buckles, and the cross 
of the Legion of Honour, and the Iron Crown of Italy. 
He held his little three-cornered hat under his arm, 
decorated with the cockade of Elba, bearing the three 
bees. He was followed by Bertrand and Drouot, by 
General Duhesme, and two foreign commissioners. Then 
came the treasurer Peyrusse, Colonel Jermanowski, the 
doctor, the chemist, and the two secretaries. The officers 
of the English ship and the functionaries of the town 
brought up the rear. The streets were strewed with 
myrtle and other plants, and were so crowded that the 
vicar-general had to fight for a passage. The Emperor 
followed the Te Deum on his knees. The company then 
passed to the Hotel de Ville, on the other side of the 
square, where Napoleon was to lodge. A throne had 
been extemporized, and three violins and two violoncellos 
scraped national airs. The Emperor delivered to the 

i43 



144 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

assembly a lecture on the history, antiquities, and resources 
of the island, of which most of them were ignorant, and to 
which they listened with gaping mouths. After this the 
new sovereign visited the citadel, and gave some audiences 
in the evening, whilst the town was illuminated. On the 
very same day Louis XVIII entered Paris and slept at the 
Tuileries. 

At midnight the Emperor summoned to his bedroom 
Bertrand, Duhesme, and Pons de 1'Herault, the director of 
the mines, telling Pons that he wished to breakfast with 
him at Rio at nine o'clock the next morning, and to visit 
the mines. Napoleon left Porto Ferrajo for this purpose 
at 5 a.m. Pons was flustered by the unaccustomed honour. 
He decorated his room with Bourbon lilies ; he called the 
Emperor in his confusion first duke, then count, then sire. 
He expected to be disgraced, but was confirmed in his 
office. Napoleon passed the next fortnight in visiting the 
villages of the island. Bertrand, by moving the popula- 
tion about from place to place, took care that his master 
should always find an applauding crowd. But the Emperor 
was not deceived ; he recognized the same faces circulating, 
like the chorus of an opera. He paid special attention to 
the forts of the island and the chief points of defence. He 
walked on the rocks for ten hours together, under the 
blazing sun, until his suite were entirely worn out. 

The Hotel de Ville proving an undesirable residence, 
Napoleon pulled down some windmills which stood on the 
summit of the hill above the town and constructed a 
pavilion, which was known as the Palazzo dei Mulini (the 
Palace of the Mills), making the plans himself. Out of a 
large room on the ground floor, looking on to the garden, 
was constructed a theatre, a bath-room, a billiard-room, 
and a dining-room, the Emperor's bedroom communi- 
cating with these apartments. On the upper floor was a 
large saloon with eight windows, four looking on the town 
and four on the sea. In order to furnish this new residence 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 145 

he raided the palace of his sister Elisa at Piombino, and a 
storm providentially driving a ship laden with furniture 
belonging to his brother-in-law, Prince Borghese, on its 
way from Turin to Rome, Napoleon confiscated it, send- 
ing, however, an inventory of it to the Prince. The 
Emperor's wardrobe had been seized at Orleans by the 
provisional government, who only left him six dozen 
shirts. He made up his deficiencies from the cargo of an 
English vessel which was sold in the island. 

In Napoleon's household Bertrand, the grand marshal, 
controlled the civil department, while Drouot was military 
governor of the island ; Peyrusse was treasurer, a most 
efficient servant ; the care of the navy was entrusted to 
Lieutenant Taillade, who generally went below in a storm. 
A mameluke, named AH, succeeded Roostan as body ser- 
vant to the Emperor, but his real name was St. Denis, 
and he was a native of Versailles. The rest of the house- 
hold need not concern us. 

The army consisted of a Corsican battalion, four hundred 
strong, with a disproportionate number of officers, and 
another battalion of about the same strength called 
Bataillon Franc, or Bataillon d'lle. The guard, under the 
command of Cambronne, had left Fontainebleau six days 
before the Emperor, and crossing the Mont Cenis, arrived 
at Savona on May 18. Embarked on five English trans- 
ports, they landed at Porto Ferrajo on the morning of 
May 28. The Emperor shook hands with their colonel, 
and said, " Cambronne, I have spent a very anxious time 
in waiting for you, but we are together now and all is for- 
given." The officers who came with them formed a trust- 
worthy staff. The grenadiers and chasseurs of the guard 
formed a battalion 607 strong, called the Bataillon Napoleon. 
There were also two companies of Polish light horse, under 
the command of Major Jermanowski. The whole army 
amounted to about 1600 men. The fleet numbered five 
vessels : the brig T Inconstant, the Caroline, armed with 
h 



146 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

one gun for the postal service, two feluccas, the Mouche, 
and the Abeille, and a chebec called PEtoile. 

Napoleon's mother arrived at Elba on the evening of 
August 2, having crossed from Leghorn in an English 
ship, the brig Grasshopper. Campbell, who was with her, 
says that she was of middle size, with a good figure and 
fresh colour, also that she was very handsome, and very 
pleasant and unaffected. She lay on a couch during the 
whole voyage, and never left it excepting once to get a view 
of Napoleon's house, when she mounted on the top of a 
gun with great activity. Napoleon had been expecting 
his mother during the whole of the previous day, but had 
that morning gone to a mountain at some distance. She 
was greatly agitated and mortified at no one coming to 
meet her, and was quite pale and huffed. Eventually 
Bertrand and Drouot arrived, and she proceeded to the 
palace in a carriage and six. She took up her abode in 
a house close to the Mulini, which had at first been 
intended for the reception of Pauline. Pauline had 
arrived at Elba on May 31, but she was in such bad 
health that she had to be carried to the Mulini, where 
the Emperor surrendered his own bed to her. After stay- 
ing two days she left for Naples, promising to return when 
her health was better and when Napoleon had found her a 
lodging. 

The first months passed in a quiet routine. The Emperor 
rose at three or four in the morning, worked in his study 
and read. He went to bed again about seven or eight, 
and rose an hour before lunch, after which he made excur- 
sions in the island. Campbell says of him : " I have never 
seen a man in any situation of life with so much personal 
activity and restless perseverance. He appears to take so 
much pleasure in perpetual movement, and in seeing those 
who accompany him sink under fatigue, as has been the 
case on several occasions when I have accompanied him, 
that I do not think it possible for him to sit down to 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 147 

study or to any pursuits of retirement, as proclaimed by 
him to be his intention, so long as his state of health 
permits bodily exercise. After being, yesterday, on foot 
in the heat of the sun, from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. visiting the 
frigates and transports, and even going down to the hold 
among the horses, he rode on horseback for three hours/ 
as he told me afterwards/ 'pour se defatiguer/ " He scaled 
the Pizzo di Giove, the northernmost peak of the island, 
and Monte Giove, on which is situated the village of 
Marciana, both crowned in ancient times with temples 
sacred to the king of the gods. He planned a country 
palace there, but had no money to execute it. Another 
excursion was to the gorge and hermitage of Montserrat. 
He talked with the hermit who lived there, and took his 
luncheon on the grass. From this summit he discerned 
the island of Pianosa, a flat rock about eight miles from 
Elba, rich in pasture. The Barbary pirates, who used it 
as a harbour, had killed the inhabitants and left it to the 
wild goats. Napoleon took possession of it with twenty 
gunners and sappers of the Guard, and twenty Corsicans. 
But matters did not pass quietly. The commandant had 
brought with him his wife and daughter, but found no 
lodging but the caves in the rocks, which he refused to 
occupy. Stormy weather coming on, provisions fell short 
and the garrison was compelled to live on the goats, 
biscuits, fish, and shellfish. The Emperor sent to the 
starving soldiers some sheep and some fowls with two 
cows in milk. He then visited the island himself, but was 
detained there by bad weather, and had to pass the night 
in pouring rain. He also annexed the small island of 
Palmaiola, which lies between Elba and Piombino. 

Before the palace of Mulini was completed, Napoleon 
began to construct for himself another house in a valley a 
few miles distant from Porto Ferrajo. This was the palace 
of San Martino, which the Guards, or " Grognards," called 
the "Saint Cloud" of Elba. The house was small. It 



H8 THE FALL OF NALOLEON 

consisted of two stories in front and one behind, looking 
on to the garden, as the ground sloped. The garden was 
planted with some trees and flowers, oaks and magnolias. 
The floor which opened on to the garden contained a large 
hall called the Salle des Pyramides. There is still a foun- 
tain in the centre, the signs of the Zodiac are painted on 
the ceiling, and Egyptian designs on the walls, with an 
inscription, " Ubicunque felix Napoleon." Next to this is 
the drawing-room, on the ceiling of which is a fresco of 
two doves joined by a ribbon, the knot of which becomes 
tighter as they fly apart They were intended to repre- 
sent Marie Louise and the Emperor, and the room was 
destined for her habitation. On the right of the drawing- 
room was the Emperor's bedroom. A narrow staircase led 
to the ground floor, where was the Emperor's bath, over 
which was a fresco of a naked woman holding a mirror, 
with the legend, " Qui odit veritatem, odit lucem." 

As the summer proceeded, Napoleon found that both 
Porto Ferrajo and San Martino became too hot, and he 
turned his attention to the village of Marciana Alta, high 
above the sea, and to the rocks of Monte Giove, where 
stood the chapel and the hermit's cell of La Madonna. 
Madame Letizia took a house at Marciana Alta, while the 
Emperor occupied the hermit's cell Seated on the highest 
crags of Elba he could gaze at the far-off Corsica, the 
beginning of his glory. At San Martino he waited 
in vain for the arrival of Marie Louise, and at the Mulini 
he heard of the death of Josephine, and bewailed her loss 
with many tears. It was at La Madonna that he received 
Madame Walewska and her son, accompanied by her sister 
and her brother. He also began to arrange a palace for 
Marie Louise at Porto Longone, situated at the other 
extremity of the island. 

When the weather became cooler, Napoleon came into 
the town, but he soon began to construct a fifth palace at 
Rio, where the mines were situated. The house of M. Pons 




< ^ 

O | 

* CQ 

O ^ 



^ S 

H 2 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 149 

de THerault was taken as the basis of this, much to the 
owner's disgust, as he has confessed to us in his memoirs. 
The Emperor was, however, unable to finish it from want 
of money. At the beginning of November he was cheered 
by the return of his sister Pauline, full of grace and charm, 
a ray of sunshine wherever she went. She was devoted to 
her brother, and did her best on this occasion to reconcile 
Napoleon and her mother to Queen Caroline of Naples 
and her weak-minded husband. She occupied the apart- 
ments in the Mulini destined for Marie Louise. The even- 
ings were spent in playing chess, cards, or dominoes. 
Napoleon never liked to lose, and would cheat rather than 
do so, which elicited a severe trouncing from his mother. 
At nine o'clock precisely the Emperor retired, striking 
upon the piano as a signal for his departure, an octave of 
notes with a single finger. Sometimes he would entertain 
the company with a discourse on his past history, speak- 
ing with the greatest interest and vigour. He did not like 
to be contradicted, but forgave easily when offended. 
Pauline arranged some dances and theatricals for the 
amusement of the party, and at Porto Ferrajo an old 
church was converted into a theatre. The drop scene of 
this represented Apollo, with the features of Napoleon, 
feeding the flocks of Admetus. 

Napoleon was always expecting Marie Louise and his 
son, and we must now trace the sad story of their repara- 
tion. She left Rambouillet on March 30, 18 14, and arrived 
at Chartres in the afternoon, lodging at the prefecture. 
She reached Blois on April 2, and began an active corre- 
spondence with the Emperor. The next morning she 
wrote a passionate letter to her father in favour of her 
husband and her son. On April 7 Colonel Galbois 
brought her a letter from the Emperor at Fontaine- 
bleau. She retired to read it, and some hours later, 
when Galbois came to ask for instructions, she announced 
her intention of joining the Emperor, saying, " My duty is 



ISO THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

to be at the side of the Emperor at a moment when he 
must be so unhappy. I wish to join him, and shall be 
happy anywhere, if only with him." When obstacles were 
suggested, this feeling passed away, and on the following 
day she wrote to her father asking for a quiet refuge for 
herself and her son in Austria. The letter ended by 
saying that she was leaving for Fontainebleau the next 
morning. This was prevented by the arrival of Shuvalov, 
aide-de-camp to the Emperor Alexander, who insisted on 
the Empress going to Orleans, where she arrived in the 
evening on April 9. Even here she formed a plan of join- 
ing the Emperor. 

In the meantime the doctor, Corvisart, had assured 
Napoleon that the only safety for Marie Louise would be 
to take the waters at Aix. He said, "Aix is salvation, 
Elba is death, both for the mother and the child." It is 
not certain that Corvisart was as honest as Napoleon 
thought him; he was probably subject to Austrian in- 
fluence. On April 12 Bausset arrived at Orleans bringing 
with him two letters, one from Napoleon, asking that 
Marie Louise should join him at Briare, and then proceed 
by the Mont Cenis to Parma. She could rest there with 
her son until he had made preparations in Elba for her 
reception. The other letter was from Metternich, assuring 
her that she was confirmed in the possession of the duchies 
of Parma, Piacenza, and Guastalla. Soon afterwards the 
Princes Paul Esterhazy and Wenzel Lichtenstein arrived 
with the same intelligence, and an invitation to meet her 
father at Rambouillet. She left for Rambouillet the same 
evening. She was informed that Napoleon was aware of 
this arrangement. He was aware, but he entirely dis- 
approved of it He wished that his wife and child should 
travel quietly with him as far as Parma, and should remain 
there until he could receive them in Elba. He even sent 
Cambronne with a detachment of the guard to protect the 
Empress at Orleans. But it was too late. When he 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON tgi 

arrived the Empress had already started. This was the 
last blow. Napoleon with prophetic insight saw the 
miseries of the future, the dishonour of his wife, the slow 
agony of his son. In the middle of the night he seized the 
poison which since 1808 he had worn next his skin, the 
poison which Cabanis had given to Condorcet to save him 
from the guillotine, and he tried to put an end to his life 
in which there was no longer anything to live for. He 
drank the poison, but he still lived. Death was not to 
come to him in that fashion. 

Marie Louise arrived at Rambouillet at midday on 
April 13, but her father was not there. She wrote to him 
before she went to bed, saying it was only the desire of 
seeing him after so long a separation which had induced 
her to undertake this journey, and had prevented her from 
going to Fontainebleau to find her husband. After three 
miserable days, the Emperor Francis arrived. He wrote a 
letter to Napoleon, saying that his daughter had so much 
need of rest that she must spend some months in the 
bosom of her family. When she was recovered, she could 
go to Parma, where she would be close to Elba. On April 
19 she had to undergo the torture of receiving the Emperor 
of Russia. She refused to see the King of Prussia. 
Napoleon wrote to her: "My good Louise. I have re- 
ceived your letter and see in it all the sorrow which 
increases my own. I see with pleasure that Corvisart 
encourages you. I am most grateful to him. Tell him 
from me that he justifies by his noble conduct everything 
that I expected from him. He must send me frequently 
a little account of your condition. Go at once to the 
waters at Aix, which I hear that Corvisart has advised for 
you. Take pains to be well. Keep your health for your 
husband and your son, who has need of all your care. I 
am just leaving for Elba, where I will write to you. I will 
do my best to receive you there. Good-bye, my good 
Louise Marie." From Frejus, on April 28, he writes to 



152 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Corvisart, that he had seen with pleasure his good be- 
haviour, at a time when so many had behaved badly. 
This has confirmed him in the opinion which he had formed 
of his character. Accustomed to traitors though he was, 
he did not know with what a double-dyed traitor he had to 
deal. 

Before Napoleon left Fontainebleau, he sent Caulaincourt 
to Marie Louise, bidding him not to press the Empress to 
join him. " I know what women are, and above all my 
own wife. To offer her a prison instead of a throne, 
is a great trial. If she came to me with a sad 
countenance I should be miserable. I would rather be 
alone than see her miserable or melancholy. If her in- 
clination leads her to me, I will receive her with open 
arms ; if not, let her remain at Parma or at Florence, where 
she will be sovereign. I will only ask of her my son. In 
reply the Empress begged Caulaincourt to assure her 
husband of her affection and constancy, and of her desire 
to join him as soon as possible, and to bring with her his 
son, of whom she promised to take the greatest care. On 
April 22 the Austrians, charged to escort the Empress to 
Vienna, arrived at Rambouillet, and she left for Vienna on 
the following day. During the journey she confessed to 
Meneval, with tears, that nothing ought to have prevented 
her from going to Fontainebleau from Blois. During the 
six weeks she passed at Schonbrunn, Marie Louise received 
many letters from her husband, which she punctually 
answered. In spite of remonstrances, she clung obstinately 
to the plan of visiting Aix, whence she could proceed to 
Parma, and afterwards to Elba in the month of August. 
Her grandmother, Maria Carolina of Naples, supported her 
in this resolution, telling her that if any opposition were 
made to her departure, she should let herself down from 
the window by her bedclothes, for when once married it 
was for life ; and Maria Carolina was a bitter enemy of 
Napoleon. 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 153 

The Empress left Vienna on July 6, travelling under the 
name of the Duchess of Calorno, her servants wearing the 
Napoleon liveries. Count Neipperg, a bitter, ruthless, 
personal enemy of Napoleon, was ordered to join her at 
Aix. He was a man of forty-two years of age, wearing a 
bandage over the eye which he had lost, repulsive in 
appearance and of infamous moral character but of 
courtly manners. He was well known to be irresistible 
with women, and he said to his mistress before he left 
Milan, " Before six months are over I shall be her 
lover, and soon after her husband." On her way to 
Geneva she met various members of the Napoleon 
family, Eugene Beauharnais, Louis, Jerome and Joseph. 
She still cherished the idea of going to Parma and 
thence to Elba, but on August 15 she received positive 
orders to return to Vienna; Neipperg was commissioned 
to conduct her, with orders to prevent her from joining 
Napoleon, if necessary by force. He gradually obliterated 
the memory of the Emperor. The imperial arms on her 
carriage, and the imperial liveries, were given up one after 
another; her father ordered her to communicate to him any 
letter coming from Elba, and not to write to Napoleon 
without his leave. She wrote to Napoleon on July 31 ; he 
received the letter on August 28. She wrote again on 
August 10, saying that she was compelled by her father to 
return to Vienna; but she assures him of her affection and 
of her intention to join him. She wrote to him no more. 
Worn out by this silence he wrote on October 10 a letter 
to his wife's uncle, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, in a tone 
of humility, asking if he could arrange for his communicat- 
ing once a week with Marie Louise, and for receiving news 
of her and his son. The letter was sent to the Emperor 
Francis, opened by him, kept four days and then given to 
Marie Louise, who was forbidden to answer it. 

Napoleon, in Elba, suffered much from want of money. 
By "the Treaty of Fontainebleau he had been granted an 



154 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

annual revenue of two millions of francs, charged upon 
the public funds. This engagement was not kept by the 
Court of the Tuileries. In the month of February, the 
Emperor of Russia and Lord Castlereagh made serious 
representations on this subject to Talleyrand at Vienna. 
Talleyrand excused himself, on the ground that he had 
been absent from Paris for five months and did not know 
what had passed, that the money was not due till the end 
of the year, and that some deductions would have to be 
made. As the revenues of Elba were insufficient for his 
support, Napoleon could not dispense with this assistance, 
which had been secured by treaty. Napoleon was, as we 
have said, one of the greatest of financiers. He had saved 
a large sum when Emperor by economies on the civil list. 
Four-fifths of this he had spent upon the war, and he had 
been able to rescue only 3,800,000 francs from the clutches 
of the provisional government, and these he brought with 
him to Elba. Half of this sum had been spent when he left 
Elba for France, and even before February he knew that 
in a given time he must be bankrupt. Reports sent from 
Elba to Paris and Vienna stated in an unequivocal manner 
that Napoleon would stay in his island so long as he had 
money to live there, so that the violation of the Treaty of 
Fontainebleau was not only a crime but a blunder. 

In the additional volumes of the Wellington corres- 
pondence there is an interesting paper, written by Lord 
Liverpool, giving an account of a conversation held by an 
Englishman with Napoleon at Elba. The writer says : 
" Bonaparte is reduced to his last shilling ; he has spent the 
little money he brought with him, and his pension has not 
been paid, although the six months have long since ex- 
pired. This is abominable. He had not a sou in the 
English or any other funds, and on leaving France he did 
not take any of his private treasure, plate, or jewels with 
him. They say that the Empress is much attached to 
Bonaparte, and wishes to join him ; but that her father 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 155 

will not hear of it, or even allow her to write. Respecting 
the rumour that Bonaparte was to be removed from Elba 
to St. Helena, it is said that the Emperor declares he will 
only be removed by force." This shows that the idea of 
deporting Napoleon, favoured by Castlereagh and Talley- 
rand at Vienna, was no secret. Letters from England, 
opened by the black cabinet of Louis XVIII, said : "The 
fate of Bonaparte is decided. He will be sent to Santa 
Lucia. It is a pity they do not send him to Botany Bay." 
" The Corsican Ogre will not be sent to Trinidad, as the 
papers say, because the island is healthy and rather 
pretty, while the island of Santa Lucia will soon purge the 
world of our friend Bonaparte." The Tsar had not as yet 
given his consent to this crime, but there were other ways 
of putting it into execution. Spain declared that she had 
not yet given her signature to the Treaty of Fontaine- 
bleau. Her ships might carry him off, or those of the 
Algerian corsairs ; indeed, the Dey had already offered his 
services. A man named Mariotti had been nominated by 
Talleyrand consul at Leghorn, and wrote frequently to his 
patron about plans of deportation. One scheme was to 
bribe Taillade, who was to convey the victim to the Isle 
St Marguerite, where he was to be imprisoned. There 
were also plans of assassination. It is possible that in any 
case Napoleon would not have remained at Elba, but his 
enemies did their best to drive him from it. The King of 
France left him without money, the Emperor of Austria 
robbed him of his child, Metternich employed a ruffian to 
debauch his wife, Castlereagh wished to transport him, 
Talleyrand to throw him into prison, and perhaps to assas- 
sinate him. 

The want of money, the disorganization of the army, 
the perpetual fear of kidnapping or assassination, made the 
situation intolerable. No one knew what would happen, 
but every one was convinced that the state of things could 
not continue. The gossips in the cafes talked of the arrival 



156 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

of Murat, the departure of the Emperor, the rising of 
Italy like one man at his approach. Others thought that 
Massena would carry him triumphantly to France, or that 
Marie Louise would effect his escape, or perhaps that the 
Grand Turk would enrol him as general for the destruction 
of Russia, while the Jews would find the necessary funds, 
to be paid after the restoration of the Empire. Other 
schemes were propounded and discussed, too extravagant 
to mention. The Emperor alone remained calm. He said, 
" The Emperor is dead. I am a dead man. I am no longer 
anything." When the spring came he ordered the work of 
road-making to be resumed. He planted six hundred 
mulberry trees for the cultivation of silkworms. He 
studied botany and agriculture. He even attempted to 
drive the plough, but the oxen refused to obey his guidance. 
He devoted himself to shooting rabbits from a portable 
hut. Bertrand said that departure was impossible, and 
Drouot engaged himself to be married. The vigilance of 
Campbell was completely sent to sleep. 

The carnival was opened by a theatrical representation, 
followed by a ball which lasted till seven o'clock in the 
morning. At the close of the carnival a motley procession 
paraded the streets of Porto Ferrajo, led by Mallet, the 
Commandant, who wore, as Sultan, the flowing robes of 
Pauline, and rode on Napoleon's white horse. But all this 
was soon to change. On February 12 or 13 a Frenchman, 
named Fleury de Chaboulon, landed at Elba from a felucca 
which had sailed from Lerici. He had interviews with 
Napoleon during the two days of his stay, and immediately 
after his departure Napoleon gave orders to prepare for 
his flight. Fleury de Chaboulon had been a government 
official, and was a devoted adherent of Napoleon. He 
determined to visit Elba to pay his respects to his former 
master, but in order that he might be well received he asked 
for an introduction from Maret, Duke of Bassano. They 
had a long conversation, which Fleury was authorized to 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 157 

repeat to Napoleon. Finally Fleury asked : " If the 
Emperor demands of me whether this is the proper mo- 
ment for him to return to France, what am I to say?" 
Maret replied : " I cannot take upon myself to give advice 
on so important a matter. Explain the state of affairs to 
the Emperor ; he will decide in his wisdom what he had 
best do." 

There can be little doubt that Napoleon had already 
made up his mind to leave Elba, but that the interview 
with Fleury hastened his resolution. He took pains to 
conceal his determination, settling the sum to be spent on 
road-making up to July, preparing to visit Marciana in 
June, and spending some time at La Madonna with a 
guard of men. But he made secret preparations; he 
ordered two carriages to be taken to pieces, that they might 
be easily packed on board ship. Pons was directed to bring 
round two large vessels from Rio laden with lumber. The 
horses of the Polish cavalry were recalled from Pianosa. 
Munitions of war were sent on board the Inconstant. On 
February 22, the Emperor had a conversation with Pey- 
russe. "What are they saying about me, Peyrusse?" 
" Your Majesty, the intendant and myself were discussing 
the possibility of your joining the King of Naples." " You 
are a couple of fools." Then stroking his cheek, " Have 
you got much money, Peyrusse ? How much does a million 
of gold weigh? How much 100,000 francs? How much 
a trunk full of books ? Take your trunks, put gold into 
them, and the books of my library at the top. Pack up 
yourself, without assistance. Pay everything in silver, 
say nothing about it." Peyrusse packed his money, 
amounting to nearly twenty million francs. The next day 
a quantity of provisions was placed on board the ships. 
Campbell had left the island on February 16, intending to 
be absent ten or twelve days. On February 24, the Part- 
ridge, Captain Adye, which had conveyed Campbell to 
Leghorn a week before, appeared on the horizon, and 



158 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

caused great alarm. But it only brought six English 
tourists, whom Captain Adye introduced to the Emperor. 
After an hour's conversation with Napoleon, and some 
talk with Bertrand, who inquired on what exact date 
Campbell might be expected, Adye returned to the har- 
bour, and watched the soldiers of the guard planting their 
trees and vegetables. A soon as his ship was out of sight 
the embarkation of the arms began again. 

On February 25 the arrangements were complete, but 
the Emperor remained in retirement. Mother, sister, and 
son dined together at the Mulini, and played cards to- 
gether after dinner. Suddenly Napoleon left the room and 
went into the garden, whither his mother followed him. 
He stopped in his hasty walk and said, " I am leaving 
Elba to-night for Paris. What do you think of it " ? He 
kissed her brow ; she replied, " If you must die, my son, 
Heaven, which has not allowed you to perish in a repose 
unworthy of you, will not, I hope, permit you to die by 
poison, but by the sword." The following day, Sunday, at 
his accustomed levee, he announced his attention of de- 
parture. At nine was held the usual mass. The garden- 
ing guards were ordered to continue their labour, so as not 
to excite suspicion. For some days previously a strict 
embargo had been laid upon the island. None of 
Napoleon's suite, excepting, perhaps, Drouot, knew where 
they were going. He asked Cambronne, " Where are we 
going to, Cambronne ? " and received as answer, " I have 
never attempted to penetrate the secrets of my sovereign." 
Madame Mere showed great courage ; but Pauline, pale 
and almost livid, wiped her eyes with her lace pocket- 
handkerchief, and besought the faithful guards to protect 
the precious life entrusted to them. The embarkation was 
nearly completed by eight o'clock. Napoleon drove down 
from the Mulini to the port in Pauline's pony-carriage, 
accompanied by Bertrand, and followed by a large number 
of people on foot As he entered his boat the Marseillaise 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 159 

was chanted by the soldiers on board, and repeated from 
the shore. A cannon-shot announced his arrival. The 
moon was shining, the sky was clear, the air warm with 
the breath of spring, and scented by the odour of its 
flowers. There was not a waft of wind. The little flotilla, 
consisting of the Inconstant, the Caroline, the Saint Esprit, 
the little ketch called l'Etoile, the Saint Joseph, and two 
large feluccas, remained motionless in the harbour. Who 
does not remember those brilliant Mediterranean nights, 
when everything is as clear as the day? From Porto 
Ferrajo his friends gazed with anxiety at the motionless 
vessel which contained their master and their hopes. 
Campbell might return and discover everything. But at 
midnight a breeze sprang up and the semaphore announced 
a strong south wind at sea. A south wind would bear 
Napoleon to France, and detain Campbell at Leghorn. 
The ships were rowed out of the harbour, the sails were 
spread and filled, and the fateful convoy left for the open 
sea. In the morning some English tourists visited the 
Mulini. The palace was empty ; Pauline had gone to her 
mother; the bath used by the Emperor before his departure 
was still full. By the side of his bed lay the book he was 
last reading, a history of Charles V. Fragments of torn 
paper strewed the room, and on the table lay a map of 
France, on which a route was marked out with pins. 

Authorities. — The recent work of Paul Gruyet, on Napoleon at 
Elba, has been of great service in writing this chapter, also the 
memoirs of Fleury de Chaboulon, and of Pons de TH^rault. 



CHAPTER XIII 

THE MARCH TO PARIS 

THE passage between Elba and Corsica was 
guarded by three French frigates and a brig 
of war. H.M.S. Partridge and a frigate were 
in the roads of Leghorn ; other English vessels, 
stationed at Genoa, might be cruising in these waters. In 
order to escape these dangers, Napoleon gave orders to the 
captain of each ship to steer separately for Golfe Juan. 
As morning broke on February 27, the brig lTnconstant, 
which was separated from the others, was on a level with 
Capraja in the centre of the passage, and the wind was 
falling. The Partridge was sighted coming from Leghorn, 
and the Fleur de Lys was on the watch between Capraja 
and Cape Corso. Taillade, who had commanded the brig, 
had been placed in charge of the seamen of the guard, and 
Chambord, who had taken his place, advised an immediate 
return to Porto Ferrajo. But Napoleon refused to accede. 
All sails were set and a boat was sunk. Thus lightened, 
the vessel doubled Cape Corso, when the watch suddenly 
announced the appearance of a ship of war coming straight 
to them with the wind behind her. The Emperor called 
his men to arms. " Let her approach," he said. "If she 
attacks us we will board her." The ports were opened 
and the guns loaded, but no other preparations were made. 
Very soon Taillade recognized the brig le Zephyr, which 
had often met V Inconstant in this part of the Mediter- 
ranean. It was commanded by Captain Andrieux, an old 

160 




p ^ 



C«5 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 161 

comrade. The Emperor, who was not desirous of an 
engagement, ordered the grenadiers to take off their bear- 
skins, and to lie down on the deck. The two ships passed 
side by side. Andrieux, accustomed to the sight of the 
Elban flag, showed no disposition to attack. Taillade 
hailed his friend through the speaking-trumpet and said, 
" Where are you going ? " " To Leghorn/' was the answer ; 
" and you ? " " To Genoa. Have you any commissions ? " 
" No. And how is the great man ? " " Wonderfully well," 
was the reply, and the two ships passed. 

The following morning at daybreak, a vessel of seventy- 
four guns was sighted sailing towards Sardinia, but it soon 
disappeared, hull down. Napoleon was delighted at his 
good fortune, and said, " It is an Austerlitz day." He no 
longer concealed the object of his expedition. When 
Peyrusse was seasick he chaffed him, and said, " Ah ! 
Mr. Treasurer, a little Seine water will soon cure you. 
We shall be at Paris for the fete-day of the King of 
Rome." Speaking of his enterprise, which he avowed to 
be rash, he said : " No example in history would induce 
me to undertake it. But I have reckoned upon the 
astonishment of the population, the condition of public 
feeling, resentment against the allied Powers, the love of 
my soldiers, and the Napoleonic elements which are still 
springing up in France. I count on the stupor and the 
bewilderment which will be the natural result of an enter- 
prise so audacious and unexpected. Men will form a 
thousand projects, but not come to any decision. I shall 
reach my goal before any plan has been organized against 
me." Pointing to Drouot, he remarked : " I know well 
that if I had followed Le Sage I should never have started ; 
but there are greater dangers in remaining at Porto Ferrajo." 
He then concluded : " A revolution has broken out at 
Paris : a provisional government is established. I can count 
on the whole army. I have received addresses from several 
regiments." All this was certainly false. But he ended by 

M 



162 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

the true remark, " I shall arrive in Paris without firing a 
shot" 

A little after midday he left his cabin and came on deck, 
holding in his hand the manuscripts of his two proclama- 
tions to the French people and the army, and the pro- 
clamation of the soldiers of the Guard to their comrades. 
The quartermaster assembled all the grenadiers who could 
write, and dictated these manifestoes to them. When 
the copies were completed, some twenty officers and non- 
commissioned officers were summoned to the Emperor's 
cabin to sign the proclamation to the army. This is not 
inconsistent with the fact that Napoleon had taken the 
precaution to have these documents printed at Porto 
Ferrajo. Indeed, the text of the printed proclamation and 
that which was signed on board differed in terms. 

The wind freshened : the ship moved swiftly. The snow 
of the Alps appeared on the horizon. The Emperor 
decorated Chambord and Taillade with the Cross of the 
Legion of Honour. He said also that he would decorate 
all the officers and soldiers who had followed him tc 
Elba, and who had served four years in the Guard. A red 
signal flag was cut up into pieces for this purpose. At 
about 9 p.m. some ship lights were observed belonging tc 
the flotilla. When he had assured himself on this point 
Napoleon went into his cabin to finish a game of chess 
with Bertrand, which Napoleon won. 

At daybreak on March i, the flotilla was off the Cap 
d'Antibes. The Emperor appeared on deck with the tri- 
colour cockade in his hat, which the soldiers also adopted 
The French tricolour replaced the Elban flag in all the 
vessels, and was loudly cheered. At i p.m. the ship* 
anchored in Golfe Juan. Early in the morning the 
Emperor had sent Captain Lamouret, with twenty grena- 
diers and chasseurs, a lieutenant, and a drummer, in a boal 
to take possession of the Gabelle battery, which was founc 
unarmed. The grenadiers landed without opposition, anc 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 163 

marched along the road from Cannes to Antibes, a forti- 
fied town situated on a peninsula. A certain Captain 
Bertrand approached the fortress of Antibes in civil 
costume, carrying the proclamation, having been sent by 
Drouot in the hope of gaining the fortress. Bertrand 
was stopped in the town by a non-commissioned officer, 
whom he endeavoured to corrupt, and taken to the major 
of the 87th. The colonel, Cuneo d'Ornano, informed of 
what had happened, arrested Bertrand. At this moment 
Lamouret with his twenty soldiers arrived at the royal 
gate of the fortress, and demanded entrance to the citadel 
Cuneo d'Ornano was in a difficulty, for his soldiers were 
exercising with their muskets stopped up, and the soldiers 
of the guard had no ammunition. He therefore had 
resource to stratagem. He kept Lamouret for a short 
time in conversation, and then allowed him and his men 
to enter. The moment they had done so the drawbridge 
was raised. The grenadiers could not resist superior force. 
They were carried to the curtain, where they were dis- 
armed. 

In the meantime the 1100 men which formed the 
Imperial army had disembarked. The army of Elba con- 
sisted of 607 grenadiers and chasseurs of the Old Guard, 
118 light Polish cavalry, 21 sailors of the guard, 43 
gunners, 400 Corsican chasseurs, and about 30 officers 
unattached, making a total of 12 19 men; but from this 
about a hundred had to be deducted. They landed mostly 
in boats, but some in their impatience plunged into the 
sea. They reached land close to the tower of the Gabelle. 
By 4 p.m. they were all bivouacking in a grove of olives, 
which still exists, between the high road and the sea. The 
treasure, the baggage, the guns, and the horses had still to 
be landed. Napoleon, who was one of the last to leave 
the ship, sat on a camp arm-chair, close to the fire which 
his soldiers had lighted. The moment he landed he sent 
Cambronne to Cannes with forty men to stop all com- 



164 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

munication, and to purchase all the horses and mules he 
could find. He said : " Cambronne, I entrust to you the 
advanced guard of my most illustrious campaign. Do not 
fire a single shot. Remember that I wish to regain my 
crown without shedding a drop of blood." 

Napoleon had already formed his plan of march, and 
on February 28 had announced on board lTnconstant that 
his first objective would be Grenoble, a district which he 
had reason to believe would be favourable to him. After 
sitting for some time by the fire, he went to the high road, 
where he conversed with the wagoners and the peasants, 
and with two men of the 87th, who had deserted to join 
him. He heard that Lamouret and his soldiers had been 
captured. He sent two other officers to demand their 
release, but they were also made prisoners. Urged to 
capture Antibes, he replied : " The time is too precious — 
we must hasten on. The best means of remedying the 
bad impression of Antibes is to march quicker than the 
news. You form a wrong judgment on the nature of mv 
enterprise. If half my soldiers were made prisoners a1 
Antibes, I would leave them all the same. If all were, 1 
would march by myself." 

About midnight the men had cleaned their arms, eater 
their soup, and received a fortnight's pay. A column wa< 
formed, and reached Cannes by a magnificent moonligh 
night. At Cannes it was at first believed that a numbe 
of Algerian pirates had landed, and the inhabitants barri 
caded their houses. Cambronne's arrival dissipated thei 
fears, but aroused new terrors. The crowd pressed rounc 
his grenadiers and questioned them with more anxiety 
than sympathy. Only the schoolboys were enthusiastic 
As Cambronne was conversing with the postmaster an< 
the mayor, a berline arrived from Aix. It contained th 
Duke of Valentinois, returning to his principality c 
Monaco. Cambronne made him get out, and imprisons 
him in the Hotel de la Poste. The troops, arriving a 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 165 

1 a.m., halted before reaching the first houses at the place 
where the road to Grasse branches off. The night was 
very cold. Napoleon ordered fires to be lighted. The 
whole population came out to see him, and pressed closely- 
round him, too closely indeed. He ordered his grenadiers 
gently to remove the crowd, and stood by the fire, kicking 
it with his boots. The Prince of Monaco was brought to 
him. "Come with us, Monaco/' Napoleon called, laugh- 
ing. "But, sire, I am going home." "So am I," said 
Napoleon. After a halt of about two hours, the column 
continued its march to Grasse, without entering Cannes. 

Grasse was ill-prepared for resistance. On inquiring, it 
was found that the town had only thirty muskets, of which 
only five would go off, and not a single cartridge. Cam- 
bronne arrived with the advanced guard. Fifteen hundred 
people assembled in the streets, " many old heads and 
white ribbons." The mayor asked him in the name of 
what sovereign he made his requisition. Cambronne 
having answered " Napoleon," the mayor replied, " We 
have our sovereign, and we love him." Cambronne then 
said, " Monsieur le Maire, I am not come to talk politics 
with you, but to ask for rations, because my column will 
be here immediately." The mayor was not in a position 
to refuse. 

Napoleon advanced very slowly, being doubtful of his 
reception in a town of 12,000 inhabitants. Arriving at 
Mouans, a village half-way between Cannes and Grasse, he 
stopped, hearing the bell ring, and did not proceed till he 
had been assured by a wagoner that it was for a funeral. 
When he sighted Grasse, he marched round the town and 
halted a mile off, on the plateau of Roccavignon, now well 
known to tourists under the name of the Plateau de 
Napoleon. The population brought wine for the soldiers, 
and flowers, especially violets, which were just in bloom, 
the Emperor's favourite flower. A blind old officer was led 
by his wife and asked permission to kiss the Emperor's 



166 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

hand. Napoleon embraced him. At the bivouac of Grasse 
he heard for the first time the cry of " Vive PEmpereur ! " 
from French throats. 

From Grasse to Digne, about 40 miles distant, there was 
only a mountain track, a carriageable road which Napoleon 
had projected as Emperor not having been made. There- 
fore Napoleon abandoned his four guns, which were sent to 
Antibes as a trophy, together with the berime which had 
brought the treasure from Golfe Juan. Peyrusse attached 
his sacks of gold and his papers to mules. The march 
was difficult, as the mountains were covered with snow. 
The lancers advanced with great labour, being embarrassed 
by their spurs, their sabres, and their lances, carrying their 
saddles as bundles on their shoulders. They were also 
obliged to lead their horses. Napoleon walked with a staff 
in his hand and slipped several times. A grenadier said, 
" It will not do for Jean l'Epee (a nickname) to sprain his 
ankle; he must first become again Jean de Paris." After a 
halt at Saint Vallier, they reached Sernon, about 4000 feet 
above the level of the sea, at 8 p.m., having marched 
30 miles in 20 hours. The Emperor arrived at Castellane, 
a more important place, on March 3, about 1 1 a.m. Cam- 
bronne had previously written: " Monsieur, I beg you to 
give orders to furnish immediately 5000 rations of bread, 
5000 of meat, 5000 of wine, 40 four-horse carts, or 200 
baggage mules. His Majesty will be at Castellane at 
10 a.m. Signed, Baron de Cambronne, General of Brigade, 
Major of the Imperial Guard." The sous-prefet and the 
mayor did their best. Emery the doctor was now sent on 
to Grenoble, and Pons de THerault to Marseilles. Late at 
night they halted at Barreme, a distance of another 30 miles, 
The snow fell heavily. One of Peyrusse's mules fell, and 
was killed, with his burden of 300,000 francs, of which onl> 
263,000 were recovered. Leaving Barreme amongst the 
cheers of the crowd, Napoleon arrived at Digne in the 
afternoon and stopped some hours at the inn of Petit Paris 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 167 

He was received at first very coldly, but excited the in- 
habitants by a speech. A new supply of the proclamation 
was printed, and Bertrand wrote to the commander of the 
87th, to urge him to join the Emperor; but between Golfe 
Juan and the Durance Napoleon only gained four recruits, 
the two soldiers of Antibes, a tanner from Grasse, and a 
gendarme. 

At Digne they regained the high road which led to Gap 
and Grenoble, and the Emperor divided his small force into 
three divisions. At the head marched Colonel Mallet, with 
three companies of the chasseurs-a-pied of the Old Guard, 
the sailors and the Polish lancers, mounted and unmounted, 
for most of them only acquired horses between Digne and 
La Mure. Next came the three companies of grenadiers, 
under Captain Loubers, the gunners, and the 30 officers 
unattached. With this body were the Emperor, the staff, 
and the military chest. The rear-guard under Guasco was 
composed of the 300 fusiliers of the Corsican battalion. 
Cambronne as before marched in front of the little army 
to procure lodgings and food. On the evening of March 4 
the column bivouacked at Malijai, 12 miles from Digne, 
close to the Durance, Cambronne having advanced as far as 
Sisteron, on the same river, which had been left unguarded 
This town he entered at 1 a.m. on March 5, with his forty 
grognards. The mayor refused any payment for the 
rations, and with the sous-prefet went to meet Napoleon, 
who reached the town before midday. Seeing the cross of 
the Order of the Lily on the mayor's coat, he said, " Do 
not wear that decoration whilst I am here, as my soldiers 
might insult you." He also said, when the sous-prefet 
complained of the conscription, " I know that I have com- 
mitted many follies, but I come to repair them all. My 
people shall be happy." He left Sisteron amid cries of 
"Vive rEmpereur!" and several officers joined his column. 
That evening he slept at Gap, and on the following day, 
March 6, found himself at Corps on the Drac, only a long 
march distant from Grenoble. 



168 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

The news of Napoleon's landing reached Paris at 
midday on March 5. Vitrolles gave the despatch, sealed, 
to Louis XVIII, who, after having read it, threw it on the 
table, saying without emotion, "It is Bonaparte, who has 
landed on the coast of Provence. Take this letter to the 
Minister of War; he will see what has to be done." Soult 
would not believe the news, and the Comte d'Artois went 
quietly to church to hear vespers. The Council, however, 
met in the evening and determined that Monsieur should 
go to Lyons to take command of the troops, that his sons, 
the Dukes of Berry and Angouleme, should command the 
left and the right wings, Gouvion Saint Cyr, Macdonald, and 
Ney being sent to assist them. D'Artois left at midnight ; 
and the Due d'Orleans was despatched after him to get him 
away from Paris. The next day the King summoned the 
Chambers and declared Napoleon an outlaw. On March 7 
he told the foreign ministers to announce to their Courts 
that there was no danger. The royalists thought that 
everything would be over in a week. General Miollis 
reached Sisteron forty hours after Napoleon had passed, 
but he thought it possible that he would be stopped by the 
garrison at Grenoble, and that he would be able to cut off 
his retreat. He sent some soldiers to Gap. Loverdo held 
the line of the Durance. Massena said, " Bonaparte is in 
a trap. This will be the end of his mad exploit." A captain 
of the 83rd wrote to a friend : " We failed to catch the 
monster at Sisteron ; the Colonel had promised 50 louis 
to the soldier who should kill him." 

Opinion in Dauphine was strongly in favour of the 
Emperor. At Sisteron the crowd cried " Vive TEmpereur !" 
At Gap the garrison had to be withdrawn to Embrun. At 
Saint Bonnet the inhabitants wished to sound the tocsin, 
but Napoleon said, " No ! your sentiments are for me 
a sure guarantee of the sentiments of my soldiers. Those 
whom I meet will join me. The larger my number, 
the more my success will be secured. Remain quietly in 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 169 

your homes." Whilst Napoleon slept peacefully at Corps 
on March 6, a village only six miles from the pilgrimage 
church of La Salette, Cambronne advanced sixteen miles 
to the little town of La Mure, where he arrived at midnight. 
Here he found preparations for resistance. Grenoble was 
arming for defence under the leadership of General Mar- 
chand and the prefet who was the celebrated mathematician 
Fourier. They had both been devoted servants of 
Napoleon, but had now transferred their allegiance to the 
Bourbons, but their soldiers gave signs of mutiny. The 
4th regiment of artillery, in which Napoleon had served 
as lieutenant, hesitated to defend the monarchy. Marchand 
therefore kept his troops at Grenoble, and only despatched 
a small detachment to La Mure, where Napoleon arrived 
on the morning of March 7, escorted by his Polish lancers. 
Here Napoleon talked with the mayor, fraternized with the 
soldiers and drank with them. He was a thorough soldier 
himself, and knew how to touch the soldier's heart. 

In a defile at Laffray, about five miles from La Mure, 
where there is a narrow road between lake and hills, his 
troops found a battalion of infantry drawn up in order of 
battle, commanded by Delessart, who was Marchand's 
nephew, a youth of nineteen years of age. Here a scene 
scarcely paralleled in the annals of the world occurred. 
Napoleon, who had ridden up with his lancers, got off his 
horse and walked up and down the road surveying the 
soldiers with his glass. An officer of Napoleon's guard 
approached and began to parley. Delessart said to him, 
" I am determined to do my duty, and if you do not 
immediately withdraw I will have you arrested." "But 
will you fire?" said the officer. "I will do my duty," 
replied Delessart. The Emperor's aide-de-camp Raoul 
approached and said to the battalion, "The Emperor is 
marching upon you. If you fire, the first shot will be for 
him. You will answer for it before France." The soldiers 
stood dumb and motionless, like a row of statues. The 



i;o THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Polish lancers advanced to surround the battalion, and the 
bearskins of the Old Guard were seen. Napoleon ordered 
his soldiers to carry their muskets under their left arm, and 
then alone at the head of his veterans he advanced towards 
the battalion. Captain Randon cried, " There he is ! Fire ! " 
The soldiers were livid, their limbs shook and their hands 
trembled. When he was within pistol-shot Napoleon said, 
" Soldiers of the fifth regiment, recognize me." Then ad- 
vancing a few steps he opened his overcoat and continued, 
" If there is amongst you a soldier who wishes to kill his 
Emperor, he can do it — here I am." A great shout arose 
of " Vive TEmpereur ! " The ranks were broken, white 
cockades strewed the ground, shakos were elevated at the 
point of the bayonet, the soldiers rushed to their Emperor, 
surrounded him, cheered him, knelt down before him, 
stroked his boots, his sword and the hem of his garments. 
Randon set spurs to his horse and rode away, Delessart 
broke into tears and surrendered his sword to the Emperor, 
who embraced and comforted him. Napoleon then 
addressed the battalion. " Soldiers, I am coming amongst 
you with a handful of brave men, because I count on the 
people and on you. The throne of the Bourbons is 
illegitimate, because it has not been raised by the nation. 
Your fathers are threatened with the return of tithes, 
privileges and feudal rights. Is it not true, citizens?" 
" Yes ! yes ! " cried the peasants and the troops. At this 
moment a captain of the National Guard, decorated with an 
enormous tricolour, galloped up, and, dismounting, said to 
the Emperor, " Sire, I am Jean Dumoulin, a glover : I bring 
to your Majesty a hundred thousand francs in my arms." 
'* Remount your horse," replied Napoleon. " I accept your 
services." The whole body of troops then advanced 
together towards Grenoble, Napoleon's army and those 
who were sent to oppose him, the peasants welcoming them 
with shouts of " Vive l'Empereur ! " Surely this is one of 
the great scenes of history ! 




£ 

^ 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 171 

At Grenoble La Bedoyere became the hero of the situa- 
tion. He was a distinguished officer under thirty years of 
age. He was in command of the 7th regiment, but his 
allegiance to the King was deeply shaken. Suddenly 
drawing his sword he cried, " To me ! soldiers of the 7th 
regiment — I will show you the way. Forwards ! Let him 
who loves me follow me," The soldiers cried, "Vive 
1'Empereur," and marched out of the Roman gate like a 
torrent. Once out of the town, he halted his soldiers, 
made them form a square and present arms. Then he 
drew from his pocket the eagle of the regiment, which had 
been preserved as a relic, and showed it to the troops. 
The soldiers cheered the eagle, the colonel, and the 
Emperor, and continued their march, the eagle shining 
brilliantly before them at the end of a willow branch. 
Napoleon himself arrived at 7 p.m., accompanied by 200 
peasants as well as the troops. Marchand did his best 
to defend the town, but was met with cries of " Vive 
l'Empereur ! " The gates were closed. Napoleon rode up 
with La Bedoyere and said, " I order you to open." 
Rousille, who was in command, replied, " I receive no 
orders except from the General." Napoleon said, " I 
cashier you." Rousille answered, " I know my duty. 
I will only obey my General." The gate could not be 
opened, as Marchand held the keys, so it was forced 
by a battering-ram. The resistance lasted two hours. 
Napoleon entered the town, and refusing to lodge at the 
Prefecture, alighted at the hotel of Les Trois Dauphins, 
kept by an old soldier of his. They brought him the frag- 
ments of the Porte de Bonne, and said, " As we cannot 
bring you the keys of your good town of Grenoble, we 
bring you the gate itself." Napoleon remained at Grenoble 
thirty-six hours. His position was now assured. He had 
possession of an important city and five regiments. He 
said at St. Helena, " Up to Grenoble I was an adventurer, 
at Grenoble I was a prince." 



172 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

The following day Napoleon received the municipal 
council, the judges, the clergy, and the academy. He 
held long discussions with the professors of law. His 
language was, " My rights are only those of the people. 
We must forget that we have been masters of Europe. 
I shall always forget everything that individuals have 
done, said or written since the taking of Paris.' , He then 
held a review. The troops cried, " Vive PEmpereur ! " "A 
bas les Bourbons ! " " Vive la liberte ! " They all wore tri- 
colour cockades, old and faded, which they had kept as a 
sacred deposit in their knapsacks. As they passed before 
the Emperor, they cried, pointing to the emblem of glory, 
" It is the cockade of Austerlitz ; it is the cockade of 
Friedland ; I wore it at Marengo/ 5 

Napoleon entered Lyons on March 10, the Comte 
d'Artois, the Duke of Orleans, and Marshal Macdonald 
having been obliged to make their escape. Arriving at 
9 p.m. he occupied the apartments in the Archbishop's 
palace, which the King's brother had left that morning. 
To reach it, an eye-witness tells us, he had to pass over 
the heads of the crowd. 

On March 12 Soult resigned his post as Minister of 
War, the King assuring him that he did not doubt of his 
fidelity. As he stood on the landing of the great stair- 
case, surrounded by courtiers, he cried three times, raising 
his cap, " Vive le Roi ! Vive le Roi ! Vive le Roi ! " He 
was succeeded by Clarke, Duke of Feltre, who had been 
Minister of War under Napoleon, but was now a fanatical 
royalist. At Vienna the first news of Napoleon's escape 
had arrived on the night of March 6-7. The next day the 
sovereigns were agreed upon their action. On March 9 it 
was learnt that he had landed at Golfe Juan. Talleyrand 
drew up a declaration, which on March 13 was signed by 
the plenipotentiaries of the eight Powers. It ran thus : 
" The sovereigns of Europe, although intimately persuaded 
that the whole of France rallying round its legitimate 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 173 

sovereign will reduce to nothingness this last attempt of 
a criminal and impotent delirium, declare that if, contrary 
to all calculation, any danger may result from this event, 
they will be ready to give to the King of France and to 
the French nation the assistance necessary for restoring 
tranquillity. The Powers declare that in breaking the 
convention which had established him in the island of 
Elba, Napoleon Bonaparte has destroyed the only legal 
title to which his existence was attached, and that in 
reappearing in France he has placed himself outside the 
pale of civil and social relations, and that he is delivered 
to public vengeance as the enemy and disturber of the 
world's repose." It is painful to think that Wellington 
should have brought himself to sign this inhuman docu- 
ment, which was strongly condemned in the English 
Parliament. 

At Lyons Napoleon behaved as if he were already on 
the throne. He harangued the people, reviewed the troops, 
received the municipal council, the judges, the clergy, the 
faculties. He appointed and dismissed functionaries, he 
issued decrees proscribing the royal flag and the white 
cockade, abolished nobility and feudal titles, suppressed 
the orders of Saint Louis and Saint Esprit, dissolved the 
Swiss regiments and the Royal Household, and brought 
back the tricolour flag ; sequestered the public property of 
the Bourbon Princes, and banished from French territory 
all emigres who had returned since the invasion. He also 
abolished the House of Peers and dissolved the Chamber 
of Deputies. When he left the city on March 13 he was 
accompanied by a surging crowd. At Villefranche, which 
had then only 3000 inhabitants, he was met by 60,000 
Frenchmen who had flocked to see him. Two peasants 
preserved the bones of the chicken which Napoleon had 
eaten for lunch. From Villefranche Napoleon went to 
sleep at M&con. He reminded the citizens that they had 
surrendered their town to a small body of Austrians. 



174 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

"You did not sustain the honour of Burgundians." "Sire," 
was the reply, "we were feebly directed : you gave us a bad 
mayor." " It is possible," said the Emperor. " We have 
all committed follies. We must forget them, and only 
occupy ourselves with the welfare and happiness of 
France," Similar triumphs awaited him at Tournus and 
Chalons. 

Ney had arrived at Besancon on March 10, having 
promised the King that he would bring Bonaparte back in 
an iron cage. He repeated this to a sous-prefet, who 
remarked that it would be better to bring him back dead. 
" No," he replied. " You do not know the Parisians : they 
must see him." " Indeed," he added, " it is very fortunate 
that the man of Elba has attempted his mad enterprise, 
for it will be the last act of his tragedy-— the denouement 
of the Napoleonade." But he had few soldiers and no 
instructions. The Due de Berri was to have taken the 
command at Besancon, but had not left Paris. In the 
night of March 11-12 Ney left for Lons-le-Saulnier. Here 
he appears to have been deeply affected by reading 
Napoleon's proclamation. He was fired by Napoleon's 
words, and only wished that he was serving a master who 
could write in a similar strain. Ney had now under him 
6000 men, spread over 100 miles, and Napoleon had 
14,000 men all in his hand. Ney was, however, confident 
of victory. He said, " I will seize a musket and fire the 
first shot, and every one will march." But his soldiers 
were deserting him. Even his own troops shouted, " Vive 
l'Empereur ! " He was advised to join Massena to attack 
Napoleon in the rear, or to march to Chambery to support 
the Swiss; but he objected. " If foreigners set their foot in 
France, all Frenchmen will declare for Bonaparte." Soon, 
however, he began to waver. An autograph letter from 
Napoleon reached him. " My cousin, my major-general 
sends you marching orders. I am certain that the 
moment you have heard of my arrival at Lyons, you made 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 175 

your soldiers resume the tricolour flag. Do what Bertrand 
orders you and come to join me at Chalons. I will receive 
you as on the morn of the battle of the Moskova." Ney 
passed a feverish night with a warring conscience, increased 
by the agonies of irresolution. But his fiery nature was 
prompt to quick decision, and he threw himself into the 
abyss as he had before thrown himself at the cannon's 
mouth. Dominated by a fatal situation, he submitted to 
it, not without pain, but without resistance. He could not 
bear to give the signal for a civil war. He said at his trial : 
" I was in the midst of the tempest : I lost my head." 

On the morning of March 14 Ney sent for Lecourbe 
and Bourmont to ask for their advice, but it was really to 
urge them to follow his example. They resisted in vain, 
and, finding it impossible to secure the obedience of the 
soldiers, agreed to join him. The troops were summoned 
at 1 p.m. to the Place d'Armes. They formed a square, 
with the officers in their midst. The drums beat. The 
soldiers were sad and pale, looking as when in the first 
days of the Revolution they had menaced their generals. 
Ney drew his sword, and said in a loud voice, " Officers, 
non-commissioned officers, and soldiers, the cause of the 
Bourbons is for ever lost." A great shout of " Vive 
l'Empereur ! " broke from the four faces of the square. 
The Marshal continued, "The legitimate dynasty which the 
nation has adopted is about to ascend the throne. The 
Emperor Napoleon alone has the right to reign over our 
fair country. I am now about to take you to the immortal 
phalanx which the Emperor is leading to Paris." The 
speech was received with cheers. All the soldiers ap- 
plauded. Ney threw himself into the arms of the officers 
who surrounded him, and then into those of the common 
soldiers. He ran about like a madman, kissing even the 
fifers and drummers. Only a few of the higher officers 
resisted the prevailing impulse and left the army. In the 
evening the whole town was given up to merriment, and 



i;6 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

even disorder. Ney invited to dinner his generals and 
staff. The feast was a cheerful one: only the host was 
depressed. His conscience pricked him. He said on his 
trial, " After that unhappy proclamation I wished only for 
death ; I desired often to blow my brains out." 

Next morning, March 15, Ney marched on Dole and 
Dijon, while Napoleon left Chalons to sleep at Autun. 
Here the mayor attempted resistance, but Napoleon said 
to him, " By what right did you threaten the citizens, 
because they wore the national colours? How did you 
dare to rebel against me? I dismiss you. You allowed 
yourself to be led by the priests and the nobles who wished 
to restore titles and feudal rights. I will dispense justice 
on them. I will ' lantern' them. My power is more 
legitimate than that of the Bourbons, because I hold it 
from the people whose cries you hear." A remark in 
which there was much truth. On March 16 the Emperor 
entered Avallon. From this moment the rebellion was 
irresistible. At Auxerre, where he arrived on March 17, 
the prefet Gamot was awaiting him at the entrance of the 
town with the authorities and the whole population. The 
regiment presented arms. In the drawing-room of the 
prefecture he found busts of the Emperor and the King of 
Rome and his own portrait in the coronation robes. It 
was here that the meeting between the Emperor and the 
Marshal took place. It was very embarrassing for Ney, 
but Napoleon did his best to put him at his ease. He 
said, " Embrace me, my dear Marshal. I am delighted to 
see you, and desire neither explanation nor justification." 
Ney, after a few clumsy excuses, said, " I love you well, 
sire ; but our country before everything ! before every- 
thing ! Your Majesty is sure that we will support it, 
because with justice we can do anything we like with the 
French. But we must no longer think of conquests, we 
must only think of the happiness of France." The 
Emperor interrupted him by declaring that he also was 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 177 

a patriot, that he had returned from Elba in the sole 
interest of the country, and that he would give to the 
French everything that they expected of him. He also 
called Ney " Le brave des braves." Ney was not sorry to 
return to Dijon next morning with orders to march on 
Paris by Joigny and Melun. 

Napoleon knew by intercepted correspondence that the 
royalists were engaged in vigorous attempts to assassinate 
him. His soldiers were becoming furious, and might bring 
on the conflict which he was anxious to avoid. He there- 
fore wrote to General Giraud, who was appointed to the 
command of the advanced guard : "I am told that your 
troops have determined to cut down the royalists. You 
will meet nothing but Frenchmen. I forbid you to fire a 
single shot. Calm your soldiers ; deny the rumour which 
exasperates them. Tell them I refuse to enter my capital 
at their head if their arms are stained with French blood." 
At Auxerre he embarked part of his army on barges and 
rafts, to spare them the fatigue of the march. In order to 
keep in touch with those who were proceeding by road, 
they had to sail day and night. They reached Pont-sur- 
Yonne on the night of March 19. 

The monarchy fell to pieces like a house of cards. All 
the measures taken against Napoleon were either a dead 
letter or turned against the government. The troops sent 
to stop his march had formed the army of the invader. 
A placard was attached to the Vendome Column : "Napoleon 
to Louis XVIII. My good brother, it is useless to send 
any more troops : I have enough/' On the morning of 
March 16, the Chambers were told that there would be a 
royal sitting in the afternoon. The report spread through 
Paris, and the quays were thronged with people. The 
King entered his carriage at 3 p.m., with the Comte 
d'Artois, the Due de Berri, and the Due d'Orleans. He 
wore the Star of the Legion of Honour for the first time. 
"You see it, sir," he said to the Due d'Orl^ans. "Yes, 

N 



178 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

sir," he replied ; " I see it with pleasure, but I could have 
wished that it had been assumed earlier." The King was 
absorbed in repeating to himself the speech which he was 
about to deliver. It ran thus : " I have worked hard for 
the happiness of my people. Could I, at the age of sixty, 
terminate my career better than in dying for its defence ? 
I fear nothing for myself, but I fear for France. He who 
has just lighted amongst us the torch of civil war, brings 
also the curse of foreign war. He will place our country 
under an iron yoke. He will destroy the Constitutional 
Charter which I had given you ; the Charter which all 
Frenchmen cherish, and which I swear here to maintain. 
Let us rally around it, and let it be our sacred standard ; 
let the united actions of .the two Chambers give to authority 
all necessary force, and this truly national war will prove 
by its happy issue what a great people can do, brought 
together by the love of its king and the fundamental law 
of the Empire." This speech, which was manly and 
straightforward, produced a great effect ; every one rose to 
his feet, crying : " Vive le Roi ! Mourir pour le Roi ! Le 
Roi a la vie, a la mort ! " The Comte d' Artois then ap- 
proached the King and said, " Permit me to state here, in 
my name and in that of my family, how much we share 
from the bottom of our heart the sentiments and the 
principles which animate the King." Then turning towards 
the assembly, he said, "We swear on our honour to live 
and to die, faithful to our King and to our Constitutional 
Charter, which secures the happiness of the French." The 
Due de Berri, the Due d'Orleans, and the aged Due de 
Conde stood up in their turns, and said : " I swear." 
The King held out his hand to the Comte d' Artois, who 
kissed it, and the two brothers then embraced. It was the 
first time that Monsieur, as he was called, had pronounced 
the word Charte in public. 

Little, however, could be done. The royalist ladies left 
Paris, and the Rouen road recalled the memories of the 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 179 

old emigration. Bourienne was ordered to arrest Fouch6, 
who had entered into a conspiracy to make the Ducd'Orleans 
lieutenant-general of the kingdom. Fouche behaved to the 
police as Napoleon did to his grenadiers. He told the 
emissary that the warrant for arrest was not in order, asked 
leave to go into his study, went into the garden by a secret 
staircase, climbed over a wall and concealed himself with 
a friend. The other victims, Davout, Maret, Reille, Lava- 
lette, Flahaut, Exelmans, were let alone. Marmont's 
plan was to convert the Tuileries into a fortress, in which 
the King should defend himself while the Princes left 
Paris for the provinces. But the King, referring to the 
dignified conduct of the Senate when Rome was captured 
by the Gauls, said : " You wish me to sit on a curule chair : 
I am neither of that opinion nor of that disposition." In 
the meantime panic reigned in Paris. The funds, which 
at the news of Napoleon's landing had fallen from 7875 
to 71*25, were now between 68-66. All confidence had 
disappeared. 

On the evening of March 18, news was brought to the 
Tuileries that the army of the Due de Berri had mutinied, 
and the troops could no longer be depended upon. The 
6th Lancers who formed the advanced guard had occupied 
the bridge of Montereau for the Emperor. Napoleon had 
already passed beyond Auxerre. The defection of Ney 
was already known at the Court. The King hesitated no 
longer, and determined to leave Paris on the following day. 
He arranged to review his household troops at midday and 
then to proceed to Lille under the escort of his squadrons. 
The population of this portion of France were royalists, 
and Lille was close to the frontier. The review was 
carried out according to programme, but the departure was 
delayed till nightfall. The King said, " There is no occa- 
sion for the sun to shine upon the disgrace of this flight." 
The next day, which was Palm Sunday, the King drove in 
front of the troops at full speed in a carriage, and returned 



180 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

to the Tuileries, which was guarded by the National Guard. 
The ministers prepared to follow their King. In their 
haste they left behind the letters written by Talleyrand 
from Vienna, and the original treaty against Russia, which 
was found and read by Napoleon. A little before midnight 
a dozen carriages entered the courtyard of the Tuileries. 
The berline destined for the King halted under the 
canopy of the Pavilion de Flore. The National Guard, 
mingled with the adherents of the Court, were standing 
in the vestibule and on the steps of the staircase, all in 
solemn silence. The door of the private apartments 
opened, and the King came out supported by the Comte 
de Blacas and the Due de Duras, and attended by a 
servant carrying a torch. The spectators cried "Vive le 
Roi ! " in such feeble sort as their tears and sobs would 
permit. One said, " He is wearing a crown of thorns." 
The King nearly broke down and said to Blacas that this 
emotion ought to have been spared him. He then said, 
" My children, your attachment touches me. But I need 
all my strength. I pray you spare me — return to your 
families. I shall see you again before long." He went 
into his carriage, the Comte d'Artois mounted his post- 
chaise, the Due de Berri and Marmont rode off to the 
Barriere de rfooile. All the ministers left the same night. 
Napoleon was now at Fontainebleau, where he had arrived 
at 10 a.m., having left Pont-sur-Yonne early in the morning. 
He quitted the Palace at 2 p.m., and on arriving at La Cour- 
de-France, where he had heard scarcely a year before of 
the capitulation of Paris, held a review. At Paris, the 
Tuileries had been invaded by the crowd from early in the 
morning. But their temper was rather to pity the King 
than to restore the Empire. A number of royalists, seeing 
the tricolour cockade worn by an officer on half-pay, made 
an attack upon him. At 10 a.m. a mob came into the 
Caroussel crying, "Vive l'Empereur ! A bas la garde 
nationale ! A bas la Calotte ! " Exelmans now came up 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 181 

and gained possession of the Tuileries, where he hoisted 
the tricolour flag, and at the same time he allowed the 
National Guard to keep their posts. At 2 p.m. the three 
colours were floating from the Hotel de Ville and from the 
column in the Place Venddme. The shops, even those of 
the Palais Royal and the Rue de la Paix, substituted the 
eagle and the bees of the Emperor for the lilies of the 
King. The bourgeoisie were sad and discontented, and 
lamented poor Louis XVIII, so good and so honest a 
man. But on that day the funds rose from 68 to 73. 

The household of the Imperial Court began to make its 
appearance. Counsellors of State, ministers, chamberlains, 
equerries, masters of the ceremonies in grand uniforms, 
cooks, butlers, servants with their Imperial liveries, ladies 
of the Palace, wives of dignitaries, generals and function- 
aries clothed in ermine, diamonds and court robes, invaded 
the Salle des Marechaux, the Galerie de Diane, the Salle 
du Trone. In this apartment, finding that the lilies of 
Louis had only been sewn over the bees of Napoleon, they 
tore them off, and in less than half an hour the decoration 
was changed. There were collected there the Due de 
Bassano, the Due de Plaisance, the Due de Rovigo, 
Lavalette, Decres, Daru, Regnault de Saint Jean d'Angely, 
Segur, grand master of the ceremonies, Davout, Lefebvre, 
Exelmans, the Queen Hortense of Holland, and the Queen 
Julie of Spain. All were waiting for their master. 

There was a thick fog and a drizzle of rain, but the 
crowd could see the windows of the Tuileries illuminated. 
About 9 p.m. a distant sound of horses was heard. A 
post-chaise entered the courtyard at a swift trot, sur- 
rounded by a thousand horsemen of all regiments, crying 
hoarsely, "Vive rEmpereur!" The door was opened: 
Napoleon was torn out of the carriage and carried forcibly 
up the staircase, nearly stifled in the process. He made no 
resistance, but shut his eyes and stretched out his arms, 
advancing with a smile on his lips as if he were in a trance. 



1 82 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

At length he reached his study, and the doors were closed 
against the crowd. Little by little the assembly dispersed, 
and all became silent. The horsemen tied up their steeds 
to the iron railings and slept on the ground, enveloped in 
their cloaks. The Tuileries bore the appearance of a town 
taken by assault. 

Such was the return from Elba, one of the most marvel- 
lous episodes in history. No preparations had been made 
for it, no conspiracy brought it about, no one was in the 
plot. It could not have been known to Massena, who did 
not proclaim the Empire till three weeks after March 20, 
nor to Marchand, who did his best to defend Grenoble, nor 
to La Bedoyere, who begged his master to stay at Cham- 
bery, nor to Ney, who promised to bring him back in an 
iron cage, nor to Soult, who did his utmost to organize re- 
sistance. It was resolved upon and arranged by Napoleon 
alone, and it surprised Bonapartists as much as Bour- 
bonists. It was a movement of the people, assisted by the 
army. The people, irritated by the arrogance of the 
government, by the threats and the claims of the priests 
and the nobles, who treated France like a conquered 
country, followed the cockade of 1789. The soldiers, who 
idolized their Emperor, followed the lead of the people. 
The hatred of the peasants against the ancien regime, and 
the devotion of the soldiers for their master, welded them 
together in a common action. People and army marched 
side by side. It has been said that, considering the opinion 
prevailing in these two bodies, the enterprise of the 
Emperor could not fail to succeed. But this does not 
diminish the credit due to him who foresaw the result, and 
who dared to risk the chance of failure. In whatever light 
we regard it we must consider it as the greatest tribute to 
the genius of Napoleon, and as the most impressive form 
of plebiscite. What could give Napoleon a more complete 
right to reign over France, if sovereignty is ever to be 
founded on the basis of a nation's will, than the fact that, 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 183 

landing on the coast of France with 1 100 men and 4 horses, 
he marched from triumph to triumph, from recognition to 
recognition, until he entered the palace of his capital, to 
find his court and ministers around him, a palace decorated 
and illuminated for the reception of its sovereign? And 
what could give him a stronger intellectual claim to resume 
the sceptre than the fact that he had foreseen all this in the 
solitude of his study at Porto Ferrajo, and had predicted, 
with a truth and accuracy rare in political prophecy, that 
his eagles would fly from steeple to steeple of his beloved 
France until they alighted on the towers of Notre Dame ? 

Authorities. — Besides the authorities above mentioned, the memoirs 
of the treasurer, Peyrusse, are of great service. Houssaye has been 
closely followed. 



CHAPTER XIV 
THE ARMING OF EUROPE 

NAPOLEON was able to nominate his ministers 
on the very night of his arrival. Maret, Due 
de Bassano, became Secretary of State, Decres 
took charge of the Marine, Gaudin of the 
Finances, and Mollien of the Public Treasury. Mole 
refused to be Grand Judge, and became director of " ponts 
et chaussees." Cambaceres was made Minister of Justice. 
It is remarkable that Maret, Gaudin, and Cambaceres 
were all original members of the Consular Government 
immediately after Brumaire 18. Davout consented with 
some reluctance to be Minister of War. He went to his 
office in the Rue St. Dominique the same night. Caulain- 
court accepted the portfolio of Foreign Affairs. Napoleon 
was anxious to appoint to the post of head of the police, 
Savary, Due de Rovigo, but he refused it. Fouche claimed 
it. He arrived at the Tuileries on the night of March 20, 
saying, " Entry for M. Fouche, the man whom it is most 
important the Emperor should see at this moment." It 
was necessary that Napoleon should choose between em- 
ploying him or having him for a bitter enemy. He gave 
him the ministry of police, but he appointed to the pre- 
fecture of police and to the general inspection of the 
gendarmerie, Riel and Rovigo, two men on whom he could 
depend and who he believed would be able to hold 
Fouche in check. Carnot was made Minister of the 
Interior, and created count, to take away the flavour of 

184 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 185 

his revolutionary antecedents. On March 21, the Journal 
de V Empire said : " The Bourbon family has gone away in 
the night. Paris shows to-day the aspect of security and 
joy. Cries of Vive TEmpereur ! are heard on every side." 
Thus the Imperial Government was constituted. But 
two-thirds of France still recognized the authority of 
Louis XVIII. Napoleon was anxious to drive that 
sovereign from the frontier in order to prevent a civil 
war in the north, where the English, who were concen- 
trated in Belgium, and the Dutch-Belgians of the Prince 
of Orange, might assist the royalist population. On the 
night of March 20, Napoleon ordered Davout to telegraph 
by semaphore to the northern towns to refuse an entrance 
to the King, the Princes, and their agents. He also ordered 
Exelmans, by word of mouth, to pursue the remains of 
the royal army with his cavalry. 

The King had left Paris intending to proceed to Lille, 
but on the road he changed his mind and determined to 
take refuge in England. He therefore slept at Abbeville, 
but after conferring with Macdonald he again resolved to 
go to Lille, where the Due d'Orleans commanded the 
troops of the division of the north. Louis XVIII arrived 
at this fortress at midday on March 22, accompanied by 
Blacas, Berthier, Macdonald, and others. The soldiers 
received him with silence : not a cry was heard from their 
ranks ; they kept their eyes fixed on the ground, as if they 
wished to avoid even seeing the royal procession. Louis 
was frightened. As soon as he alighted from the carriage 
he asked Orleans and Mortier if they thought he was safe. 
They could not assure him that he was. He then asked 
if there was any immediate danger. " No, sire," said 
Mortier, " but the danger might come from one moment 
to another. At present there is no danger." The King 
dined at 6 p.m., and the Prince de Conde, who had just 
arrived, gravely asked him whether he intended to per- 
form the ceremony of washing the feet of twelve poor 



1 86 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

men on the following day, which was Maundy Thursday. 
After a long discussion he determined to leave the town. 
Mortier and Macdonald refused to quit France. Orleans 
asked the King for orders, and was told that he might do 
whatever he pleased. " Well," Orleans answered, " I will 
remain here as long as I have some hope of being able to 
maintain your cause. I fear that it will not be long. Then I 
will go to England to join my wife and my children." The 
King left at three o clock. There was some difficulty in 
getting the gates opened. Macdonald, on taking leave, 
said, " Au revoir, sire, in three months." As Houssaye 
remarks, how much blood was to be shed before that wish 
could be realized ! 

The household troops were finally disbanded at Bethune, 
five days after Napoleon had entered the Tuileries. By 
this time the Imperial Government had been recognized 
over two-thirds of France. The tricolour flag floated over 
Laon, Troyes, Rouen, Beauvais, Amiens, Chalons-sur- 
Marne, Besangon, Caen, Strasburg, Nancy, Lille, Verdun, 
Tours, La Rochelle, Nantes, Brest, and Cherbourg. Suchet, 
Mortier, and Jourdan had joined their former master. 
Augereau, who on April 16, 1814, had said of the white 
flag, " Let us hoist this colour, which is truly French," said 
again on March 22, 1815, "It is useless to look for any 
honourable memory in the white flag." Marshals Victor, 
Oudinot, and Gouvion Saint Cyr remained true to the 
Bourbons. Still the Due de Bourbon remained a centre of 
civil war in La Vendee and the Duchesse d'Angoul£me at 
Bordeaux ; but on April 2 she was compelled to embark 
on an English ship. We need not follow the details of 
these civil disturbances. 

Napoleon had no doubt that he would be able to put 
down any insurrection in France, but he dreaded a foreign 
war and the appearance of a seventh coalition. The 
moment he arrived at Paris he ordered the manufacture of 
300,000 muskets, took measures for tripling his army, and 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 187 

for arming and provisioning his fortresses. He ordered 
the formation of five armies of observation on the north- 
east frontier, of one on the Alps, one in the Pyrenees, the 
creation of a body of reserve ; and at the same time he did 
everything he could to prevent the war, which, however, 
appeared almost inevitable. 

With this object he had, before leaving Elba, ordered 
Murat to declare his pacific intentions at Vienna. On 
arriving at Lyons he had charged Joseph to announce to 
the ministers of Austria and Russia, who were accredited 
to Switzerland, that the Treaty of Paris would be respected. 
On March 21 he had informed the English government 
that he would be glad to receive from them any proposi- 
tions which would secure a solid and durable peace. On 
March 29 he made more serious advances to England by 
abolishing the traffic in slaves, a step which produced 
considerable effect in our impressionable country. Know- 
ing the affection felt by the Tsar of Russia for the two 
children of Josephine and for the Princess Stephanie of 
Baden, he asked Queen Hortense to write to the Tsar 
to state his wish to become the friend and ally of Russia. 
He further sent a circular letter to the sovereigns of 
Europe, to explain why he had returned to France. He 
said, " The dynasty which had been imposed by force on 
the French people was no longer suited to them. The 
Bourbons were not in sympathy either with their senti- 
ments or their habits. It was necessary that they should 
part company. It will be my pleasure from this time 
forth to recognize no other rivalry than that of obtaining 
the advantages of peace. France delights to proclaim 
this noble end of all its aspirations. Jealous of her own 
independence, the unalterable principle of her policy will 
be the most absolute respect of the independence of other 
nations. Talleyrand, hearing this, said, " It is the old story 
of the wolf turned shepherd." Napoleon had previously 
addressed a private letter to the Emperor Alexander in 



188 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

the following terms : " My efforts are solely directed to the 
consolidation of my throne, and to transmit it one day, 
established on firm foundations, to the child which your 
Majesty has treated with paternal goodness. The preserva- 
tion of peace is necessary for the attainment of this sacred 
object. There is no purpose dearer to my heart than to 
maintain peace with all Powers, but especially with your 
Majesty. I am anxious that the Empress should join me 
by way of Strasburg. I am too well acquainted with the 
principles which actuate your Majesty not to feel the 
happy confidence that you will use your efforts, whatever 
may be in other respects your political objects, to assist in 
hastening the moment in which a wife will rejoin her 
husband and a son his father/' 

In the excitement of his return Napoleon had not for- 
gotten his wife and son. He wrote to her from Grenoble 
on March 8, from Lyons on March n. In this letter he 
sends copies of his proclamations, he enumerates the forces 
by which he is supported and the enthusiasm of the people ; 
he asks Marie Louise to meet him with the King of Rome 
at Paris, where he will be on March 21. The Empress 
never received this letter, but it was seen and read by the 
allied sovereigns and all their ministers. From Paris he 
wrote on March 22, on March 26, and on March 28. In 
this last letter he says : " My good Louise, I am master of 
the whole of France ; all the people and all the army are 
in the greatest enthusiasm. The so-called king has gone 
to England. I spend the whole of the day in reviewing 
bodies of 25,000 men. I expect you in the month of 
April. Be at Strasburg between April 15 and April 20." 
On April 4 he writes : " My good Louise, I have written 
to you again and again. I sent Flahaut to you three 
days ago. I have sent you a man to tell you that every- 
thing is going very well. I am adored, and master of 
everything. I only want you, my good Louise, and my 
son. Come, then, at once to join me at Strasburg. The 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 189 

bearer of this will tell you what is the sentiment of 
France. Adieu, my loved one ; for ever thine." There 
were probably many other letters, but no answer arrived. 
At last, on April 15, a message came from Meneval saying 
that the mind of the Empress had been so worked upon, 
that she looked upon a return to France with terror. For 
six months everything had been done to estrange her from 
the Emperor. On March 12 she was made to sign a 
letter saying that she had no knowledge of her husband's 
designs, which made it possible for Austria to sign the dis- 
graceful manifesto of March 13, which placed Napoleon 
out of the pale of human society ; and she received the 
duchy of Parma as a reward, with a large revenue, neither 
of which was to go on to her son. She told Meneval that 
she had formed the irrevocable resolution never to join the 
Emperor, and she refused to receive his letters. 

Meneval himself returned to Paris on May 10. Napoleon 
was never tired of plying him with questions about the 
two beings who were dearest to his heart. The first day he 
sat with him from early morn to six in the evening, and 
the following days for several hours. Meneval did his 
best to excuse the Empress, and Napoleon, on his part, 
showed the utmost delicacy in sparing her. But he 
yearned after his son. She was at Baden when she heard 
of his final deportation to St. Helena, and she replied to 
one who told her of it, " Thank you ; I had heard the 
news you tell me of. I wish to ride to Merkenstein. Do 
you think the weather is fine enough to risk it ? " Let us 
hasten to the end. On April 15, 182 1, when death was 
very near, Napoleon wrote : " I have always had reason to 
praise my very dear wife, the Empress Marie Louise, and I 
hold for her, up to the last moment, the most tender affec- 
tion. I pray that she may watch over my son to guard 
him from the snares that beset his childhood." On April 8 
he said to the doctor, Antommarchi, " Take my heart, 
place it in spirits of wine, and carry it to Parma to my 



igo THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

clear Marie Louise. Tell her that I loved her tenderly, 
and have never ceased to love her." When she heard of 
his death she wrote : " I confess that I have received a 
severe shock. Although I have never felt any great regard 
for him, I cannot forget that he is the father of my son, 
and that, so far from ill-treating me, as every one believes, 
he has always shown me every kindness— all that one can 
expect in a political marriage. I have therefore been much 
afflicted, and although one ought to be glad that he has 
finished his unfortunate life in a Christian manner, I could 
have wished him many years of happiness and life, pro- 
vided that he was a long way off from me." To her Neip- 
perg was a more romantic object than Napoleon. 

The appeals of Napoleon fell upon deaf ears. The 
Powers clung to the declaration of March 1 3, which placed 
the Corsican adventurer under the ban of Europe, as a 
public enemy and a disturber of the world. As Napoleon's 
success appeared certain, the plenipotentiaries of Austria, 
Russia, England, Prussia, and France, held a conference 
to determine upon their course of action if he should 
succeed in establishing himself at Paris. They determined 
to act on the principles of the declaration of March 13, 
and to nominate a commission to study the means of 
execution. The commission, consisting of Schwarzenberg, 
Wellington, Wolkonsky, and Knesebeck, met on March 17, 
the Tsar being present in person. Alexander showed 
himself a bitter enemy of Napoleon. The conference laid 
down the principle that the Powers would never treat with 
Bonaparte, and determined to form three armies to take 
the first line, and two armies of reserve, and to employ 
prompt and immediate measures. They proposed also 
that the Treaty of Chaumont should be renewed. On 
March 25 the ministers of England, Austria, Prussia, and 
Russia signed a treaty of alliance. By this treaty the 
Powers agreed to keep constantly in the field 150,000 men, 
until Bonaparte was placed absolutely beyond the possi- 




MARIE LOUISE 
From an oil painting by an unknown a?tist 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 191 

bility of exciting trouble, renewing attempts to gain posses- 
sion of the supreme power in France, and threatening the 
security of Europe. It was determined as a preliminary 
measure that they must settle what subsidies were to be 
received from England, and by a convention of April 30 
England contracted to divide amongst the northern Powers 
for the current year a sum of five millions. It had, indeed, 
been determined on March 30 that in case England could 
not provide 150,000 men she was to pay for the deficiency, 
£30 per year per man. In fact, she only provided 50,000 
men. These arrangements were all completed before 
Napoleon's overtures arrived. It would have been better 
for Napoleon's interests if he had deferred his departure 
from Elba until the Congress of Vienna had broken up ; 
but on the one hand he feared lest, before they separated, 
they would take measures for his deportation, and on the 
other he believed that the differences of opinion between 
them were greater than proved to be the case. 

The arrival of Napoleon at the Tuileries was regarded 
by the other Powers as a declaration of war. All French 
troops found beyond the frontiers of their country were 
treated as prisoners. Joseph Bonaparte was arrested at 
Prangins, and Jerome at Trieste. Elisa was interned at 
Brunn, Queen Catherine at Goppingen, Pauline in Tuscany. 
The law of nations seemed to protect neither them nor 
others of their countrymen. In a fortnight fifty French 
vessels were captured in the North Sea and the Channel. 
The frigate Melpomene was taken and brought to Palermo. 
After March 30 no diplomatic correspondence from France 
was suffered to pass. The despatches of Caulaincourt, the 
Emperor's letter, his circular address to the sovereigns, were 
stopped at the various frontiers. Even private correspond- 
ence and the transport of newspapers was prohibited. 
France was placed under an interdict ; it was put in 
quarantine as if stricken by the plague. Napoleon was 
obliged to have recourse to secret agents. The copy of 



192 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

the circular of April 4 reached London, and Castlereagh 
replied to Caulaincourt, " The Prince Regent declined to 
receive the letter which was addressed to him." This 
letter bore the signature of Napoleon. Similar language 
was held to the secret emissaries who reached Vienna. 
Talleyrand said, " Read the declaration of March 13. It 
does not contain a word with which I do not agree." 
Metternich said, " We do not desire a Regency." Nessel- 
rode said, " No peace with Bonaparte." 

It will be remembered that on January 3 Castlereagh, 
Metternich, and Talleyrand had signed a secret treaty by 
which the plans of Prussia for the acquisition of Saxony 
and those of Russia for the annexation of Poland were 
traversed. This treaty had been found by Napoleon at 
Paris on his return, and was now communicated to 
Alexander. It made him very angry, but it did not alter 
his designs. Fouche had conceived the idea of kidnapping 
the King of Rome. To avoid this he was removed to the 
Imperial Palace, the Burg, his French governess, Madame 
de Montesquiou, was dismissed, although she had been 
with him since his birth, and the tears of the little prince 
at losing his dear a Quiou" were disregarded. Meneval, 
the emissary of Napoleon, had an interview with the young 
child in May, and on taking leave of him he asked if he 
had any message for his father. The child looked with 
distrust on the Austrians who surrounded him, and then 
withdrew to the recess of a window whither Meneval 
followed him. The little prince drew the Frenchman close 
to him, and said in a low voice, " Monsieur Meva, vous lui 
direz que je Faime toujours bien." 

If such were the sentiments of the sovereigns, what was 
the opinion of the people of Europe? In the barracks of 
Brussels the soldiers cried, "Vive TEmpereur!" At Ghent 
they ridiculed the emigres. At Liege, Mainz, Aix-la- 
Chapelle, Treves, Spires, Luxemburg, the people prepared 
tricolour cockades. In Piedmont the soldiers deserted in 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 193 

order to enrol themselves in the French army ; in West- 
phalia and Mecklenburg, where Napoleon had abolished 
serfdom, his name was a household word. At Dresden the 
escape from Elba was celebrated with an illumination. 
But the general voice of Germany called out for an invasion 
of France. From the Rhine to the Oder the press teemed 
with expressions like these : " The French imagine that 
they have not been conquered ; we must convince them that 
they have been. This turbulent nation can only be pre- 
vented by force from disturbing their neighbours." " The 
French should be exterminated ; yes, we must exterminate 
this nation of brigands, we must partition France. ,, " We 
must obliterate the French people and change them into 
the inhabitants of Neustria, Burgundy and Aquitaine. No 
treaties with the French, we must exterminate them, kill 
them like mad dogs." In England the Times said, "If the 
misfortunes which belong to the usurpation of the san- 
guinary Corsican affected those only who have placed 
themselves under his yoke, we might be content to aban- 
don these unhappy people to the calamities which they 
have so well deserved. But the objects for which the 
companions of his wickedness have summoned this brigand, 
this monster, laden with so many crimes and horrors, is 
the pillage of Europe." The Morning Chronicle held a 
different language. " Napoleon has reconquered in a fort- 
night the throne from which it needed the exertions of 
Europe for so many years to expel him. There is nothing 
like it in history. The attention of Parliament will cer- 
tainly be drawn to the detestable policy which tends to 
renew the war. It is of no importance whether a Bonaparte 
or a Bourbon sits on the throne of France." The same 
paper suggested that Castlereagh should be asked, " Was 
the Treaty of Fontainebleau faithfully executed by the 
allies? Has any portion of the pension guaranteed to 
Napoleon and his family been paid? Was there not a 
plan for transporting him ? " 
o 



194 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

It will be interesting to Englishmen to see in what spirit 
the return of Napoleon was received by the English 
Parliament On March 20, 181 5, Mr. Whitbread moved 
an address to the Prince Regent, asking for information 
about the Congress of Vienna. In his speech he called 
attention to a manifesto of Napoleon complaining that the 
Treaty of Fontainebleau had been violated, that he had 
received no part of the promised pension, that the pension 
promised for his wife and son had not been paid, and that 
it was intended to remove him forcibly from Elba, and 
place him in some other quarter. He asked if these state- 
ments were true, and ended by expressing a hope that 
England might not be engaged in war. Lord Castlereagh, 
in a long and rambling speech in which he ranged over the 
whole field of foreign politics, evaded these questions. He 
said, however, that if Bonaparte succeeded in re-establish- 
ing his authority in France, peace must be despaired of, at 
least such a peace as we recently had the hope of enjoying. 
On April 3, Mr. Whitbread drew attention to the declara- 
tion signed at Vienna on March 13. He expressed a con- 
fident hope that it was an infamous forgery, inasmuch as 
it went to sanction the doctrine of assassination. He trusted 
that some of the names annexed to that paper were never 
authorized to sign any such document. It was impossible 
to suppose that Lords Wellington, Clancarty, Cathcart, 
and Stewart were authorized to put their names to such an 
infamous paper, or that they were invested with a power 
to declare war against any man. Vansittart, the Chancellor 
of the Exchequer, replied that the paper did not authorize 
this interpretation, and that the names annexed to the 
document, if it were authentic, afforded an ample pledge 
that nothing which was inconsistent with what was legal, 
honourable, and proper could have been intended by it. 
It was evident from this that the government were half 
inclined to be ashamed of what had been done. On the 
next and following days there was a discussion about the 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 195 

escape of Napoleon from Elba, and Castlereagh admitted 
that there was an understanding with Campbell that 
Napoleon was to be imprisoned within certain tracts, 
and was not to be allowed to exeeed those limits. Also 
the Treaty of Fontainebleau was to be laid before the 
House. 

On April 6, a message from the Regent relating to the 
events in France, was brought before both Houses of 
Parliament. Lord Stanhope took occasion to say that the 
Declaration of March 13 was an attack upon the liberties 
and constitution of the people of the country, and that he 
would rather die in the most horrid tortures than agree to 
a declaration of war upon these principles. The message 
asked for an augmentation of the land and sea forces. It 
was discussed on the following day. Lord Castlereagh 
explained the circumstances under which the Treaty of 
Fontainebleau was signed. When he heard of it he strongly 
disapproved of it, but eventually consented to accede to it 
conditionally. He assented to that part which gave the 
sovereignty of Elba to Napoleon, and the duchies of Parma 
and Placentia to Marie Louise, but not to that part which 
acknowledged the title of Emperor, or promised the pen- 
sion. He admitted that Napoleon was not to be considered 
in any way as a prisoner in Elba ; the sovereignty of the 
island had been conferred upon him, and to look upon him 
in any other light would be a contravention of the treaty. 
He denied that the Treaty of Fontainebleau had been 
violated, because the pension, being an annual one, did not 
become due till the year had expired. He argued in 
favour of the European concert. He would not avow 
publicly his own private sentiment, but there was no dis- 
position on the part of the government to drive the allies 
into a more extensive war policy than might be consistent 
with their own sentiments and feelings. Lord Grenville, 
who followed, argued in favour of a close interest and 
cordial connection between this country and the allied 



196 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Powers of the Continent. Lord Wellesley objected to the 
argument that the pension promised at Fontainebleau 
should not have been paid because it had not become due, 
also, nothing had been done with regard to the Duchies of 
Parma and Placentia. He ardently hoped that the aggra- 
vated calamities of a new war would be averted. Lord 
Grey denounced the low and pitiful expedient of arguing 
that the Treaty of Fontainebleau had not been violated 
because the money stipulated did not become due till the 
end of the year. He considered a state of tranquillity so 
important to England and to Europe that to the last he 
should fondly cherish a hope that peace might be main- 
tained. 

The declaration of March 13 and the Treaty of Fon- 
tainebleau were presented to Parliament on April 7, and at 
the same time papers which showed that on April 13, 
1 8 14, Castlereagh had objected to the treaty, that he 
would only accede to the territorial arrangements con- 
tained in it, that he was opposed to Elba being assigned as 
a residence for Napoleon, and that he was not disposed to 
the alternative, which Bonaparte had repeatedly mentioned, 
of an asylum in England. The address on the Prince 
Regent's message was discussed on the same day. Lord 
Castlereagh opened the debate. He said that the return 
of Napoleon to his throne was not a revolution growing 
out of the sentiments of the French people. It was a 
revolution effected by the army, effected by artifice, and by 
that sort of overweening influence " that a person, being at 
the head of a military system, and addressing himself to 
great military bodies, may be supposed to have preserved 
and exerted." He violently abused Napoleon, as having 
shown himself " no longer to be controlled by treaties, in 
the pursuit of his views bounded only by his inability to 
proceed, as having set at naught every ordinary tie, and by 
a series of conduct which does not present one particle of 
morality, having deliberately placed himself on the pedestal 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 197 

of power, and boldly avowed his acts. He calls himself 
Emperor of France, impiously * by the grace of God.' 
The allies had made the Treaty of Fontainebleau because 
they could not help it. When Elba was given him it was 
never intended that he should be a prisoner there, or that 
he should be deprived of his excursions in the vicinity of 
the island for the purposes of recreation. The allied 
Powers never intended to exercise a police or any system 
of espionage either within or without Elba. It is a mistake 
to suppose that the allies were too generous in making the 
treaty or too remiss in carrying it out, they are not respon- 
sible for any mischief that may grow out of the fortuitous 
event which has so unfortunately taken place. He had 
urged upon Louis XVIII the desirability of giving the 
pension, but had been met by the argument that some 
explanation of his conduct, which lay open to suspicion, 
must first be exacted. Who would venture to say that the 
return of Bonaparte was the will of the French nation ? 
Who would hesitate to allow that the late revolution was 
purely the act of the military ? " On the general question 
his opinion was, that we should watch the temper and 
the spirit of the continental nations, that we should not be 
precipitated by their ardour into any war which was not 
just or necessary ; as we had clearly saved the world, in 
concurrence with the allied Powers, it was in concurrence 
with them that we must preserve it from future danger, 
but we must not goad the Powers of the Continent into a 
war which they were not convinced was necessary for 
their interests. This is a fair representation of the Tory 
policy. 

In answer to this, Sir Francis Burdett made a very 
remarkable speech. Unfortunately his position as a 
radical deprived his arguments of that weight which they 
intrinsically deserved. He said that if it was intended to 
plunge the country again into a war, with the object of 
replacing the Bourbons on the throne of France, he must 



198 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

raise his voice against ever entering upon such an unjustifi- 
able and ruinous enterprise. The government would be 
blamable if they attempted to impose a governor on an 
independent nation against its will. Was it not plain 
that Bonaparte was the ruler of the French people's 
choice? The step he had taken had very absurdly been 
called the invasion of France. But whoever heard of a 
single man invading a nation of thirty millions of inhabi- 
tants, and gaining the sovereignty of that nation against 
its will? The fact was that the nation wished for him, and 
had in a great degree wished for him from their dislike of 
the government which he superseded. There apparently 
existed a strong desire in the British government, if the 
elements of war could be found in Europe, to recur to that 
detestable principle, the re-establishment of what were 
called legitimate sovereigns, as if nations belonged irre- 
vocably to certain families. This country had done enough 
for the Bourbons; they had cost the country eight hundred 
millions of money and oceans of blood. It was impossible 
to doubt that Napoleon Bonaparte was Emperor of 
France by the wish of the French people. It was said 
that Bonaparte was only supported by the military ; but 
what was the ground of thinking so ? Could it be believed 
that a single man, landing in a nation containing thirty 
millions of inhabitants, with a government in active 
organization, and armed with a great civil and military 
power against him, could proceed for five hundred miles to 
the capital of the country, and assume the government 
against the consent of the people ? In all that length of 
way there was not a single individual to lift his hand 
against him. How could the approbation of the people 
be more unequivocally shown? It was a most abnormal 
and detestable principle to interfere in the internal concerns 
of another country. Let the French settle their own 
affairs. Mr. Ponsonby, although he supported the address, 
admitted that he had no right to consider whether it was 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 199 

wise or unwise of France to prefer her present to her late 
sovereign. It was for France herself to determine that 
point, and he would never vote in that House on the 
principle of imposing a specific government on any 
nation. Mr. Whitbread complained of the flimsy veil 
with which ministers attempted to cover their real object, 
of the trap into which they were anxious to betray the 
country. The restoration of Bonaparte to the throne of 
France was much more miraculous than his original eleva- 
tion to it. He landed without a man to defend him ; 
in his progress from the south to the north of France he 
was exposed daily and nightly, and every hour of the day 
and night, to the attacks of those who were inimical to his 
cause, if such existed, and not a single hand of all that 
population, which Castlereagh stated he had good reason 
to know were favourable to the Bourbons, was raised 
against him as the invader of France, or as the destroyer 
of its lawful sovereign. A war of aggression against 
France ought to be resisted by this country. The witty 
Sheridan had said that one half of our national debt had 
been contracted in endeavouring to suppress the power of 
the Bourbons, and the other half in endeavouring to restore 
them to power. He denounced the Manifesto of March 13. 
He concluded by moving an amendment in favour of peace. 
Lord Althorpe said that the main question was whether, if 
war was to take place, it was to be a war of defence or of 
aggression. In 1793 the experiment of forcing a govern- 
ment on France had been tried, and had failed. He 
supported the amendment. Tierney also supported the 
amendment. He deprecated a vote which would almost 
amount to a direct declaration in favour of a renewal of 
war. He had heard that treaties of subsidy had already 
been negotiated. If it was thought that peace could not 
be attained but by dethroning Bonaparte, the prospect 
now before the country appalled him to the heart. Not-* 
withstanding the powerful arguments alleged in its favour, 



200 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

the amendment only received thirty-seven votes, and the 
address was carried by a majority of one hundred and 
seventy-three. 

The treaty signed at Vienna on March 25 was not com- 
municated to Parliament. Mr. Whitbread drew atten- 
tion to this fact in the Commons, but the speech of 
Lord Wellesley on the same subject in the Lords on 
April 27 was more weighty. With justifiable vehemence 
he denounced the bad faith of the government. " What 
other feeling/' he said, " can we entertain, when we under- 
stand that two days prior to the vote of April 7 ministers 
were in possession of the Treaty of Vienna, and had 
actually resolved on a war, the arrangements of which 
were even completed ? " To this Lord Liverpool made a 
very lame answer. He, however, made a positive declara- 
tion with regard to the policy of England. He said, 
" First, we consider the present government of France as 
an evil that must be got rid of; secondly, we consider 
it highly desirable to restore the legitimate monarchy of 
France, and will contribute our efforts to that restoration ; 
thirdly, we do not consider that restoration as a sine qud 
non y and disclaim any intention of imposing a government 
on the French people. If therefore we go into France, we 
go to destroy the pernicious government that exists, but 
by no means to impose any government in its stead/ 1 
Lord Darnley declared that he should not have voted 
for the address of April 7 had he been aware of the exist- 
ence of a treaty which pledged this country and our allies 
to an offensive war against France. 

A similar question was raised by Mr. Whitbread in the 
House of Commons on April 28. He complained that 
the treaty signed at Vienna on March 25 had been received 
by the government on April 5, the day before the royal 
message had been brought down to the House. They 
had not altered a single word of the message, had not 
mentioned the treaty in the debate of April 7, but had 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 201 

treated the matter as if peace and war were still an open 
question, and had returned the treaty ratified on April 8. 
He therefore proposed an address asking the Regent to 
pause before he involved his people in war. The address 
was seconded by Sir W. M. Ridley, who thought it was 
not the part of this country to inquire into the particular 
government of France, nor into her power to settle who 
should be at her head. Castlereagh in his answer declared 
that Bonaparte was entirely unworthy of confidence, and 
cited a despatch signed by Maret, ordering Caulaincourt at 
the Congress of Ch&tillon to accede to the terms proposed by 
the allies, but to keep certain points suspended to prevent 
the fulfilment of the treaty, if circumstances demanded it. 
" Could any confidence be reposed in the faith of such a 
man, or could the peace of the world be secure while 
power remained in the hands of a man so thoroughly 
indifferent to every consideration of moral principle or 
political rectitude ? " Recent historical research has shown 
that this despatch was a forgery. The debate was a long 
one. In the course of it Wilberforce announced that he 
had a bad opinion of Bonaparte. He placed no con- 
fidence in predictions of his improvement, for though there 
had been a large expenditure of bad passions in him, yet 
there still remained a fount of evil which was inexhaustible 
he feared." The motion received considerable support, 
72 voting in favour of it, but it was lost by a majority of 
201. There can be no doubt, however, that the Liverpool 
Ministry, in conjunction with the Duke of Wellington, 
were the main cause of the war of 181 5; that they need 
not have engaged in it unless they had wished; that they 
might have prevented it if they had chosen; and that 
every Power in Europe was subsidized by English gold. 

The effect of these debates was that Lord Castlereagh 
was compelled to declare himself thus on April 25 : " The 
undersigned, in exchanging the ratifications of the treaty 
of March 25, is ordered to declare that Article VIII must 



202 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

be understood as obliging the contracting parties to make 
common efforts against the power of Napoleon Bonaparte, 
but that it must not be understood as obliging his Britannic 
Majesty to pursue the war with the object of imposing 
upon France any particular government. However great 
may be the desire of the Prince Regent to see his most 
Christian Majesty re-established on the throne, and what- 
ever may be his desire to contribute in concert with his 
allies to so happy an event, he feels himself, notwithstand- 
ing, obliged to make this declaration as much in the 
interests of his most Christian Majesty in France as in 
order to conform to the principles by which the British 
government has invariably regulated its conduct." 

All the states of Europe, even Switzerland and Spain, 
took part in this last coalition. Napoleon had but one 
ally, the unfortunate Murat. The imagination of this 
weak schemer was fired by the success of his brother-in- 
law, and he imagined that he could make himself King of 
Italy with the same ease that Napoleon had made himself 
Emperor of France. He left Naples on March 17, and 
reached Ancona two days later, and Rimini on March 30, 
marching on Bologna, which he entered on April 2, the 
Austrian garrison of 9000 men having evacuated it the 
day before. On April 4 he forced the passage of the Panaro 
and slept at Modena. In the meantime the Austrians were 
concentrating behind the Po. They resisted his efforts to 
cross that river at Occhiobello. Then, passing to the 
offensive, the Austrians drove the King back to Bologna, 
Rimini, and Ancona. Neipperg followed Murat along the 
coast with 16,000 men. Bianchi, crossing with 12,000 by 
Tuscany and the States of the Church, manoeuvred to cut 
off his retreat at Tolentino. The battle, which lasted two 
days, May 2 and 3, ended in the defeat of the Neapolitans. 
Murat conducted himself with great bravery, but could 
not find the death he sought. On May 1 1 Murat rallied 
behind the Volturno some 10,000 men, all that remained 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 203 

of the 40,000 with which he opened the campaign. On 
May 19 he left Naples disguised as a sailor, reached 
Cannes in a Danish vessel, and hired a house in the neigh- 
bourhood of Toulon. The Austrians entered Naples on 
May 23, and 90,000 Austrians concentrated in Italy be- 
came available for operations in the French Alps. Napoleon 
was very angry at Murat's conduct. He sent an emissary 
to tell him to remain in Provence, and to say that he could 
not employ him. "The Emperor cannot employ a man 
who a year ago fought against Frenchmen. He blames 
you for having undertaken your last campaign against his 
will. A year ago you destroyed France by paralysing the 
60,000 soldiers of Prince Eugene, and this year you have 
compromized him by attacking the Austrians prematurely." 
The consequence was that Murat was not present at the 
Battle of Waterloo, where he might have rendered great 
service. 

Meanwhile Louis XVIII, having failed to realize his 
desire to cross over to England, had established himself 
in Ghent, where the Prince of Orange had offered him 
hospitality. Here he held a kind of court, and corres- 
ponded with foreign governments. He certainly main- 
tained his dignity, even if the sublime bordered occasion- 
ally on the ridiculous. He kept up the etiquette of the 
Tuileries. Every morning he gave audience to one or 
other of his ministers. Every afternoon he took his drive 
in a carriage drawn by six horses, at full gallop, with an 
escort of bodyguards. Twice or thrice a week there was 
a dinner and a reception at Court. On Sunday he attended 
the church of Saint Bavon in a uniform with golden 
epaulettes, the Order of the Saint Esprit, and red velvet 
gaiters. He seemed as if he were not in exile, but 
in country retirement. He received ambassadors with 
haughty affability, and if he met the Duke of Wellington 
on the Brussels road, or in the deserted streets of Ghent, he 
returned his salute by a slight movement of the head, 



204 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

He had the same faith in his rights and in his future that 
he had shown at Verona, at Mittau, and at Hartwell. He 
remembered that in the eyes of Europe he was still the 
most Christian King, that he had ambassadors in every 
European capital, that in his interests a million soldiers 
were marching towards the frontiers of France. 

Authorities, — Masson's Marie Louise has been again followed, and 
the records of debates in the English Parliament have been taken 
from the Parliamentary History. 



CHAPTER XV 

THE HUNDRED DAYS 

THERE was indeed some reason for conserva- 
tive Europe to be afraid of the return of 
Napoleon, besides the dread of his power, 
because he seemed to personify the Revolu- 
tion of 1789. From the moment of his leaving Elba he 
proclaimed himself the enemy of privilege, and thundered 
against the nobles and the priests. He said as early as 
March 20, to Mole, " I find the hatred of the priests and 
the nobility as universal and as evident as at the begin- 
ning of the Revolution." But Napoleon was too much a 
lover of order and of good government to foster or to 
flatter these sentiments. He said to Benjamin Constant, 
" They look upon me as their puppet and their salvation 
against the nobles. I have only to make a sign, or even to 
avert my eyes, and the nobles will be massacred in all the 
provinces. But I will not be sovereign of a Jacquerie." 
General Hugo, the father of Victor Hugo, said, "The 
wooden horse of '92 is not burnt ; we shall know how to 
discover it again for the service of the Emperor." But it 
was just this wooden horse of anarchy which Napoleon 
disdained to use. He recoiled before the revolutionary 
measures by which he might have effected his object. 
For this conduct he expressed at St. Helena sometimes 
regret, but never remorse. His conversations there, as 
reported by Las Cases and Montholon, show, that the 
establishment of a "terror" in 1815 might have been his 

205 



2o6 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

salvation, but he would not consent to be responsible for 
such a step. He said, " The empire had become legitimate. 
A regularly established government cannot charge itself 
either with the same excitement or expose itself to the 
same odium as the multitude. I would not be a ' king of 
the Jacquerie/ A revolution is the greatest of disasters ; 
all the advantages which it brings cannot compensate for 
the distress with which it fills the life of those who are its 
authors." 

Those also by whom Napoleon was at this time sur- 
rounded were not of a democratic frame of mind. Mole, 
Hauterive and Chauvelin refused to sign the declaration of 
March 26, because it contained the words "Sovereignty 
resides in the people, it is the only legitimate source of 
power." If Napoleon had wished to found a Jacobin dic- 
tatorship, such as Danton might have approved of, he would 
not have been followed either by Maret, Caulaincourt, 
Mollien or Daru, and it is doubtful whether even Carnot 
or Fouch6 would have supported him. Indeed he sur- 
rounded himself even with Imperial pomp. A solemn 
mass was held every Sunday at the Tuileries, and three 
times a week there were theatrical representations at the 
Palace. He again summoned his family round the throne. 
Joseph lived at the Elysee, and Lucien at the Palais 
Royal, each of them keeping a stable of forty horses. 
Still he could not return to the absolutism of his former 
reign. Not being able to be Emperor as in 18 12, nor a 
popular dictator, he was forced to play the part of constitu- 
tional monarch, and in the beginning of April he set him- 
self to the task of giving the country liberal institutions. 
The chief difficulty in concluding a durable settlement lay 
in the war which was threatening to overwhelm the new 
government. 

The phrase "L'Empire c'est la paix," which was so 
often in the mouth of Napoleon III, was first used by 
Napoleon I. In order to secure this result he did his best 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 207 

to conceal the hostile designs of the Powers. The official 
journal declared there was no danger of war. The articles 
of the Morning Chronicle were translated and circulated. At 
the same time the recall of all soldiers on leave on March 28, 
and the mobilization of the National Guards, drove the 
funds down to the figures of 58f. 50c, and the national 
feeling of confidence was discouraged. This produced a 
reaction of opinion in the north, west, and south. The 
tricolour flags were thrown down, and the Imperial ensigns 
torn away. Paris, however, remained comparatively calm. 
The theatres were empty, and commerce was sluggish. 
Still the manifestations of imperial spirit were evident. 
The bust of Napoleon, covered with violets, was frequently 
carried round the Tuileries and the Palais Royal. On 
April 2, the Imperial Guard gave a monster banquet to the 
garrisons of Grenoble and Lyons, and to the National 
Guard. The Marseillaise and the hymn " Veillons au salut 
de TEmpire!" were sung every evening at the theatre. 
Crowds came together and shouted "Vive PEmpereur!" 
under the windows of the Tuileries. Napoleon was 
obliged to show himself, and he became so wearied with 
this perpetual demonstration that he removed from the 
Tuileries to the Elysee where there was a peaceful garden. 
At the same time he reviewed, almost every day, either 
in the Caroussel or the Champs Elysee, the soldiers who 
were leaving for the frontier. He showed himself con- 
stantly to the people. He rode about the streets almost 
alone, and sometimes in the lowest quarters mingled with 
the crowd, and conversed with the workmen or with women. 
We get an interesting account of Napoleon at Paris at this 
time from the letters of John Cam Hobhouse, addressed to 
Lord Byron. Writing on April 24, he says : " I have seen 
him twice: the first time on Sunday the 16th, at the review 
of the National Guards ; the second time at the Francais 
on the following Friday, April 21, at his first visit to the 
theatre since his return." Hobhouse was in the Tuileries 



208 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

in the apartments of Queen Hortense. He afterwards 
descended into the court of the Caroussel and stood within 
ten paces of the Emperor. Napoleon fixed his eyes and 
filled his imagination. Nowithstanding the motley crowd, 
he saw nothing but Napoleon, the single individual, to 
destroy whom the earth was rising in arms from the Tanais 
to the Thames. He says he never saw any man exactly like 
him ; " his face was a deadly pale, his jaws overhung, but 
not so much as I had heard, his lips thin, but partially 
curled, so as to give to his mouth an inexpressible sweet- 
ness. He had the habit of retracting the lips, and appar- 
ently chewing, in the manner observed and objected to 
in our great actor, Mr. Kean. His hair was of a dark 
dusky brown, scattered thinly over his temples ; the crown 
of his head was bald — one of the names of affection given 
him of late by his soldiers is * notre petit tondu ! ' He was 
not fat in the upper part of the body, but projected 
considerably in the abdomen, so much so that his linen 
appeared beneath his waistcoat. He generally stood with 
his hands knit behind or folded before him, but sometimes 
unfolded them, played with his vest, took snuff three or 
four times, and looked at his watch. He seemed to have 
a labouring in his chest, sighing or swallowing his spittle. 
He very seldom spoke, but when he did, smiled, in some 
sort agreeably. He looked about him, not knitting but 
joining his eyebrows as if to see more minutely, and went 
through the whole tedious ceremony with an air of sedate 
impatience." Hobhouse goes on to relate an incident of the 
review. An ill-looking fellow, in a half suit of regimentals, 
with a sword at his side, ran out from the crowd towards the 
Emperor. He was seized by the collar and thrust back. 
Napoleon did not move a muscle of his body ; not a line, 
not a shade of his face shifted for an instant. Perfectly 
unstartled, he beckoned to the soldiers to let loose their 
prisoner, who, coming so close as almost to touch him, 
talked to him for some time. The Emperor sent him away 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 209 

satisfied. " I see Napoleon at this moment The unruffled 
calmness of his countenance at the first movement of the 
soldier relaxing softly into a look of attention and of 
kindness, will never be erased from my memory. We are 
not stocks nor stones nor Tories. I am not ashamed to 
say that on recovery from my first surprise I found my 
eyes somewhat moistened/ 1 

At the reception at the Francais it is impossible to give 
any idea of the joy with which he was hailed. The house 
was choked with spectators, who crowded into the orchestra. 
The play was Hector, more exactly La Mort d Hector, by 
Louis de Lancival. " Napoleon entered at the third scene. 
The whole mass rose with a shout which still thunders in 
my ears. The cries continued till the Emperor, after 
turning to the right and left hand, seated himself, and the 
play was recommenced. The audience received every 
speech which had the least reference to their returned 
hero — with unnumbered plaudits. The words ' enfin il 
reparait' and f c'6tait lui-Achille ' raised the whole parterre 
and interrupted the actor for some moments. Napoleon 
was very attentive : whilst I saw him, he spoke to some of 
those who stood behind him, and returned the compliments 
of the audience. He withdrew suddenly, at the end of the 
play, without any notice or obeisance, so that the multitude 
had hardly time to salute him with a short shout. As I 
mentioned before, I saw the Bourbon princes received, for 
the first time, in the same place last year. Their greeting 
will bear no comparison with that of Napoleon, nor with 
any of those accorded to the heroes of the very many 
ceremonies I have witnessed in the course of my life." 
Hobhouse concludes by this important remark, which later 
historians have proved to be absolutely true. " The royal 
vice of ingratitude finds no place in the bosom of an 
usurper ; this baseness belongs to such as are born kings. 
There is something magical in that power of personal 
attachment which is proved by a thousand notorious facts 



210 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

to belong to this extraordinary man ; and never had any- 
one, who wore a crown, so many friends, or retained them 
so long." 

Napoleon had issued from Lyons a decree to the effect 
that the Electoral Colleges of the Departments of the 
Empire would meet in an extraordinary assembly in the 
Champ de Mai in order to modify the constitution according 
to the interests and the wish of the nation. But it was 
found impossible to collect 26,000 citizens in the Champ de 
Mai to discuss and to veto laws. The method of writing 
statements of grievances adopted before the assembly of 
the States General in 1789, would have taken too long, 
Napoleon therefore determined to entrust the decision of 
the constitution to a commission. Some were in favour of 
a constitution of the English type. Carnot objected to 
this, on the ground that the English constitution pre- 
supposed the existence of a powerful aristocracy: in France 
there was no aristocracy. He proposed a constitution 
combining a Chamber of deputies, a senate nominated for 
life, and a tribunate composed of five commissioners from 
the Chamber, five from the Senate, five from the Conseil 
d'Etat, and five from the judges. The Emperor favoured 
this plan, but it was condemned by the other members of 
the Commission. A new factor now appeared upon the 
scene in the person of Benjamin Constant. On March 19, 
Constant had issued a paper in which he compared 
Napoleon to Nero. Fearing vengeance, he hid himself in 
La Vendee for a few days, and then returned to Paris. He 
had an interview with Joseph, who reassured him, and 
shortly afterwards received an invitation to go to the 
Tuileries. Constant had during the restoration been the 
oracle of the Liberals. He was much impressed with his 
interview with the Emperor, whom he found, not indeed 
converted to Liberal principles, but determined to submit to 
them by necessity. -Napoleon ended by asking him to 
draw up a scheme of a Constitution. The interviews 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 211 

between the sovereign and the philosopher were continued 
day by day, and finally Constant presented him with a 
complete outline of a Constitution drawn up article by 
article. 

It was a new edition of the Charte. All Frenchmen 
were declared eligible to the Chambers, and the franchise 
was given to 100,000 instead of 15,000 citizens. The 
censorship of the press was abolished, martial laws were 
confined to military offences, and liberty of worship 
allowed without a State religion ; the power of interpreta- 
tion of laws was taken away from the ministers, the 
debates of the upper Chamber were made public, the right 
of amendment was given to both Chambers, while each 
Chamber was allowed to request the government to 
initiate a new law. Ministerial responsibility was in- 
creased, and the executive placed under the control of the 
legislative. In the original draft no mention was made of 
the Empire, but to this Napoleon objected. He said : 
"You deprive me of my past: I wish to preserve it. What 
do you do with my eleven years of reign ? I suppose that 
I have some rights. The new Constitution must hang on 
to the old. It will have the sanction of glory." Constant 
replied that the Emperor had now more need of popu- 
larity than of glory ; but he yielded on this point, and the 
new Constitution bore the name of " Additional Act to 
the Constitutions of the Empire." Napoleon also objected 
to the mention of an hereditary peerage. He said: "Where 
can I find the elements of an aristocracy which is required 
for a peerage? The possessors of old fortunes are my 
enemies ; those of new fortunes are ashamed of themselves. 
Five or six illustrious names are not enough. Without 
traditions and large properties, on what will my power be 
founded ? In thirty years my peers will be either soldiers 
or chamberlains." But seduced by the example of Eng- 
land, he preferred an hereditary to ata elective senate. 
On the evening of April 24 the <; Acte additionel " was 



212 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

read to the ministers and the members of the Conseil 
d'Etat. When they criticized it, he said with passion : " I 
am being driven in a course which is not my own. I am 
weakened and placed in chains. France looks for me, and 
finds me no more. Public opinion, which was excellent, is 
now execrable. France asks itself, What is become of 
the 'old arm' of the Emperor, the arm which it needs 
for the subjugation of Europe ? What is the use of talk- 
ing to me of goodness, of abstract justice, of natural law? 
The first law is necessity ; the first justice is the public 
welfare. You wish that men whom I have loaded with 
benefits should use them to conspire against me abroad. 
That must not be, and shall not be. When peace is made, 
we shall see. To every day its burden, to every circum- 
stance its law, to every one his own nature. It is not my 
nature to be an angel. Gentlemen, I regret that we must 
find again, and that every one must see again the old arm 
of the Emperor." While he spoke he rose to his feet, and 
his eyes shone with fire. Constant tells us that this is 
the only occasion when he showed signs of open revolt to 
the constitutional yoke. The commissioners held their 
tongues, fearing that if they pressed him further he would 
tear the constitution to pieces with the old arm which he 
evoked. 

Fouche, Caulaincourt, and Decres desired that the Acte 
additionel should be discussed article by article by the re- 
presentatives chosen by the electoral colleges and not sub- 
mitted to a plebiscite. But Napoleon did not approve of 
such a course. He published the document in the Moni- 
teur y and by a decree called on all communes to give their 
votes openly, the votes to be counted in the assembly of 
the Champ de Mai summoned to meet at Paris on May 26. 
The Acte additionel contented no one. The Napoleonists 
deplored the concessions to Liberalism, and regarded their 
Emperor as lost. The Jacobins were disappointed to find 
in it no trace of their revolutionary ideas. The hereditary 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 213 

peerage was an outrage upon legality. The Liberals treated 
it with disdain. Many thought that they had been deceived, 
that the concessions made were only apparent, and would be 
recalled at the earliest opportunity. The nomination of peers 
and judges, the right of prorogation and dissolution, the 
initiation of laws, were all given to the Emperor. He had 
changed nothing. He was still the man of Brumaire, the 
autocrat of 181 1. The new constitution, " La Benjamine " 
as it was called, was still more distasteful to the Royalists. 
They were especially angry with Article 67, which expressly 
forbade that any member of the Bourbon family should 
ever be called to the throne, even if the Imperial dynasty 
became extinct, and also prohibited the return to feudal 
rights, to tithes, to a privileged religion, to the revision of 
the sale of national property. They complained that this 
method of binding the future attacked the rights of the 
people. The people, so far as they thought about the matter, 
were of opinion that the new Constitution did not fulfil 
the Emperor's promises, but there was but little excite- 
ment; seven-tenths of the population were indifferent. 
Napoleon himself said to Constant on April 25, at the 
Elysee, " Well, the Constitution is not a success." 

On May 1, a decree was published in the Moniteur in- 
voking the Electoral College to choose deputies for the 
Chamber of Representatives, which was to meet after the 
proclamation of the acceptance of the Additional Act. 
The Constitution itself was finally confirmed by 1,532,527 
votes against 4802, showing a large number of abstentions. 
The elections to the Chamber were not favourable to 
Napoleon. In a Chamber of 629 there were only 80 de- 
termined Bonapartists, 30 or 40 Jacobins, and 500 Liberals 
of different complexions. The assembly was hostile to 
the Bourbons in consequence of their retrograde ideas 
and of their appeal to foreign assistance. It recognized 
Napoleon as the head of the National Government of 
France, but it feared his despotism. It would have pre- 



214 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

ferred a constitutional kingdom under the Due d'Orleans, 
but it accepted the Empire, provided that the Emperor was 
deprived of all power. It was not a promising instrument 
with which to fight a life-and-death struggle against a 
European coalition. 

On June i, 1815, took place the famous assembly of 
the Champ de Mai. We may avail ourselves largely of the 
picturesque description of Mr. Hobhouse. In the southern 
portion of the Champ de Mars, the architect Fontaine had 
erected a vast pentagonal hemicycle, open at the base. In 
the opening was a structure covered with a canopy, 
containing an altar and seats for priests, musicians, and 
other performers of the mass. There were nominal 
divisions made by the wooden pillars of the building, 
surmounted by large wooden eagles, under which were 
written the names of the departments, which showed the 
extent and power of the Empire. Opposite to this was 
another edifice, with its back to the Ecole Militaire, with 
a great canopy in the middle, and oblong wings on each 
side. Under the canopy a flight of carpeted stages de- 
scended from the principal windows of the first story 
of the military school, and about half-way between the 
windows and the ground was a platform for the throne. 
This structure formed as it were the chord of which the 
hemicycle was the arc. Besides this, there was a bare 
pyramidal platform, with steps on each side fifteen feet 
high, at the back of the hemicycle, on which was placed 
a plain arm-chair, open and uncovered. Hobhouse con- 
sidered these erections rather tawdry than otherwise. The 
day was hot and radiant with sunshine. From early in 
the morning the hemicycle was filled with the electors, the 
representatives, chosen but not constituted, and a number 
of invited persons. On each side of the altar were the 
representatives of all the regiments of France. Hobhouse 
says that the scene, as a whole, was indescribably magnifi- 
cent. The windows and the roof of the military school 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 215 

were filled with ladies, and there were innumerable standard- 
bearers, whoseglittering eagles and tricoloured banners made 
a dazzling show. The throne was a gilt purple-coloured 
arm-chair, with a purple cushion on the ground before it. 
On the right of it were two common chairs, on the left 
a single chair. The first to appear were the children of the 
Reine Hortense, including Louis, afterwards Napoleon III. 
Then came the Court of Cassation, the Court of Accounts, 
the Council of the University, the Imperial Court, and the 
Magistracy of Paris, in robes, some of which appeared 
fantastic. The candles were lighted at the altar, and at 
midday the cannon announced the departure of the Emperor 
from the Tuileries. The sight in the Champ de Mars was 
superb. The troops were drawn up on each side down 
the whole length of the plain, the whole of the National 
Guard, the Imperial Guard, and the troops of the line, as 
well as the gendarmerie. The red lancers were seen 
filing over the bridge of Jena, and the long train of the 
cavalry of the guard, and the suite of carriages. There 
were fourteen state carriages, each drawn by six bay horses. 
The last but one contained Cambaceres, arch-chancellor of 
the Emperor, and the last the three Imperial Princes, Joseph, 
Lucien, and Jerome. The Imperial carriage was a large 
gilt coach with glass panels, surmounted by an immense 
gilt crown. Four footmen, or pages, were crowded before, 
and six behind. Two marshals of the Empire rode on 
each side of the carriage, Soult, Ney, Jourdan, and 
Grouchy, which was drawn by eight milk-white horses, 
dressed in lofty plumes of white, each led by a groom 
who could hold him securely down. Napoleon was dis- 
tinctly seen through the glass panels in his plumed hat 
and deep orange mantle. It would have been better if he 
had been in military uniform. A body of pages in green 
and gold liveries ran down the stairs from the window and 
ranged themselves on each side of the steps from the 
platform of the throne to the ground. A grenadier of the 



216 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

guard was posted at the foot of the steps to the left and to 
the right. The tribunes under the canopy were filled by 
marshals and counsellors of state. 

Caulaincourt and Segur placed themselves on the highest 
step to the right of the throne. Cambaceres tottered down 
to the platform in a blue mantle spotted with gold bees. 
The Archbishop of Tours and Cardinal Cambaceres went 
to the altar. At one o'clock Napoleon marched from the 
window down the steps to the platform, and the assembly 
rose with a shout. He advanced hastily in front, bowed or 
rather nodded two or three times, plumped himself down 
into his throne, and rolled his mantle round him. Hob- 
house says that he looked very ungainly and squat. The 
princes did not look much better. Mass was performed, 
during which Napoleon was less occupied by his prayers 
than with his opera-glass. The mass over, the deputies 
presented an energetic address. " If we are only allowed 
a choice between the throne and war, the whole of France 
will rise for war ; we will draw ourselves round the throne, 
on which sits the head and father of the people and the 
army. Every Frenchman is a soldier ; victory will follow 
your eagles." The Constitution was then presented to the 
Emperor, and he signed it. He then made a speech, 
which began, " Emperor, Consul, soldier, I hold everything 
from the people." He was applauded with cries of " Vive 
l'Empereur ! " " Vive Marie Louise ! " He then took the 
oath to the Constitution, and the Te Deum was sung. 
After this three eagles were solemnly presented to the 
Emperor as typical of the rest — the eagle of the national 
guard of the department of the Seine by Carnot, that of 
the first regiment of the line by Davout, and that of the 
first marine corps by Decres. Napoleon threw off his 
mantle, leaped from the throne, and advanced to meet 
the eagles. He made a short speech, with great animation 
of manner and in a loud voice. " Soldiers of the national 
guard of the empire, soldiers of the troops of land and 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 217 

sea, I entrust to you the imperial eagle with the national 
colour. You swear to defend it at the price of your blood 
against the enemies of your country and of this throne. 
You swear that it shall always be your rallying sign. You 
swear it." The concluding words pierced the whole assem- 
bly, and were answered by the shout, " We swear." 

The Emperor then went to his chair behind the hemi- 
cycle and presented the eagles to the rest of the army. 
The whole army of 50,000 men filed before their sovereign 
with their eagles in admirable order, the Imperial guard 
marching from right to left, the others from left to right. 
Hobhouse says that this scene was more magnificent than 
any pen can describe. At half-past three the Emperor 
returned to his throne, bowed several times to the 
assembly, very graciously and apparently much pleased, 
mounted the stage, and disappeared in the window of the 
military school. Before three weeks were over Napoleon 
was a defeated fugitive, and thousands of these enthu- 
siastic soldiers were stretched lifeless upon the plain of 
Waterloo. 

The Chamber of Deputies met on June 3. They elected 
as President, Lanjuinais, a man with a splendid record, but 
likely to be particularly distasteful to Napoleon because 
he had always been in opposition under the Empire. 
Napoleon thought for a moment of refusing to ratify the 
election, but he was dissuaded from taking this step. He 
summoned Lanjuinais to the Tuileries on the evening of 
June 4, and said to him, " Do you belong to me?" "Sire, I 
have never belonged to any one." " But will you serve 
me ? " " Sire, in the sphere of duty, for you have the visi- 
bility." "Some say you are a Bourbonist, others that 
you are my personal enemy, and others that you sincerely 
love your country. You will judge which of these I 
believe when I congratulate both you and the Chamber 
on the choice which has made you its president" The 
list of peers had been settled on the evening of June 2. 



218 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

It contained a hundred and seventeen names. The 
Emperor's brothers, Joseph, Louis, Lucien, and Jerome, 
Cardinal Fesch, Prince Eugene, Cambaceres and Lebrun, 
Marshals Brune, Davout, Grouchy, Jourdan, Lefebvre, 
Marsin, Ney, Moncey, Mortier, five admirals, thirty-eight 
generals, all the ministers, four prelates, a dozen Coun- 
seillers d'Etat, about thirty distinguished personages, such 
as Chaptal, Lacepede, Gassendi, Lavalette, Montalivet, 
Mole, Allonge, Segur, Roederer, Lameth, Sieves, and 
about fifteen representatives of the ancienne noblesse 
who consented to be nominated. Augereau, Oudinot, 
Gouvion Saint Cyr, Kellermann, and Gregoire were pur- 
posely omitted. The Imperial sitting of the two Chambers 
took place on June 7, and an interesting account of it is 
given by Hobhouse. 

He went to the palace of the legislative body at two in 
the afternoon, and found a place in one of the galleries. 
The Counsellors of State took their seats, and shortly 
afterwards Napoleon's mother, whom he describes as a 
very handsome, regular-featured, princely personage, 
young of her age, entered the gallery with the Queen 
Hortense and the beautiful Duchesses of Bassano, Rovigo, 
and Piacenza. At four the cannon of the Tuileries were 
heard, and twenty minutes later the doors of the theatre 
opposite the throne were thrown open. The president, 
with a deputation of members, ministers of State, 
marshals, chamberlains, and pages appeared, and at last 
the shout of " l'Empereur ! " announced the arrival of 
Napoleon. He wore his velvet cap and Imperial mantle ; 
was attended by his brother, the great officers of the 
Court, and Cambaceres in his robes of bees. The whole 
assembly arose. Napoleon ascended to the throne amidst 
continual acclamations. He turned round, bowed, and sat 
down. Joseph sat on his right, Louis on his left. Jerome 
was absent. Segur gave the Emperor's command that all 
should be seated. Then the members of the two houses 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 219 

took the oath of obedience to the Constitution and of 
fidelity to the Emperor. This lasted a long time. Napoleon 
continually took lozenges from a small bag in his hand, and 
appeared to labour considerably in his chest. He was 
evidently unwell, probably suffering from a cold ; except 
speaking twice to Joseph, he said not a word to any one 
near him. When the oaths were finished he pulled off his 
cap, and began his speech. His voice was distinct and 
clear, but became rather feeble towards the end. He 
concluded thus : " It is possible that the first duty of a 
sovereign summons me, at no short interval, to the head 
of the children of the nation, to fight for our country. The 
army and myself will do our duty. You, peers and repre- 
sentatives, give to the nation the example of confidence, 
of energy, and of patriotism ; and, like the senators of the 
great people of antiquity, be determined to die rather than 
to survive the dishonour and degradation of France. The 
holy cause of our fatherland will be triumphant." These 
last words were pronounced in a lowered voice, and with a 
gesture of his right hand. He bowed to the assembly, and 
retired amidst the thunder of acclamations, at which he 
appeared highly delighted. Nothing could exceed the 
euthusiasm, which seemed the more spontaneous as the 
cries of " Vive PEmpereur ! " were not more frequent than 
those of "Vive la Nation!" and "Vive la France!" 
Hobhouse confesses to a presentiment that he had seen 
this extraordinary man for the last time. 

Indeed, everything had changed with him. When he 
entered the Tuileries on March 20 he was excited by his 
triumph and was inspired by energy, resolution, and hope. 
For three weeks everything gave way like magic before 
him ; after that everything was leagued against him. The 
Powers placed him under the ban of Europe and armed a 
million of soldiers to exterminate him. The South rose in 
insurrection, the West in rebellion, the North in conspiracy, 
and the whole of France was divided in opinion. The 



220 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

army was in want of men, the arsenals of supplies, the 
Treasury of money. Each day, after working fifteen 
hours to reorganize the army, the finances, and the 
administration, he had to discuss Constitutional questions 
with Benjamin Constant, with the members of the Com- 
mittee of the Constitution, and always yield to their argu- 
ments. He abdicated the dictatorship, gave representative 
government, the liberty of the press, the liberty of the 
tribune, the liberty of the elections. Still they refused to 
believe in his honesty of purpose. He was threatened 
abroad, abused by the press at home, he found laziness in 
the administration, treason in the police, distrust in the 
Chambers, demoralization at the Tuileries, and every- 
where hostility, suspicion, and discouragement. 

Even Napoleon could not undergo this torture for three 
months without being weakened by it morally and physi- 
cally. At the end of May he was not the same man that 
he was on March 20. He had preserved unimpaired the 
master qualities of his great genius, but the subordinate 
qualities, will, decision, confidence, had declined in him. 
He became subject to bodily ailments of a very painful 
nature. He was sometimes sunk in profound depression. 
He lost all hope and all energy. It is said that in his 
hours of anguish he was tormented by visions of France, 
conquered and dismembered. He sought by day the sleep 
which he could not obtain at night. When he was alone 
he burst into tears. Carnot once surprised him in this con- 
dition before a portrait of his son. He had lost the idea of 
success, and no longer believed in his star. He said to 
Mollien, " Destiny has changed towards me ; I have lost 
in her an auxiliary which I cannot replace." " Time," he 
said also, " will show whether France will take more pains 
to keep me than it did to keep the Bourbons." 

Napoleon had determined to leave Paris for the front on 
June 12. The troops had begun their march, and the 
Imperial Guard, the military chest, and the Household 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 221 

troops were between Compiegne, Soissons, and Laon. 
Profiting by the experience of 18 14 he determined not to 
leave a regency behind him, but to keep the threads of 
administration in his own hands. Joseph was to preside 
at the Council of Ministers, and all matters were to be 
referred personally to the Emperor. On the evening of 
June 11 he dined with his mother, his brothers and the 
princesses. The children of Joseph and the two sons of 
Hortense — one of them afterwards Napoleon III — came 
to dessert. He then received the president of the 
Chambers, the ministers and a few faithful friends. 
Lavalette stayed with him till midnight and left him in 
a gay humour. But he had on that day passed through 
the wearisome ordeal of receiving the address of two 
Chambers, and he had in his reply given them a useful 
lesson. " Help me to save our country. The crisis in 
which we are engaged is dangerous. Do not let us imitate 
the example of the Lower Roman Empire, which, pressed 
on all sides by the Barbarians, made itself the laughing- 
stock of posterity by engaging in subtle discussions at the 
moment when the battering-ram was breaking down the 
gates of the capital/' 

In order to restore confidence in the new Empire it was 
necessary that Napoleon should gain a victory. The West 
was in arms, civil war distracted the South, there was dis- 
content at Paris, at Lille, at Rouen and at Bordeaux. 
The approach of the war stopped all business, paralysed 
commerce, made the funds sink to 54 francs. But there 
existed undoubtedly a great movement of patriotism. 
France rose quivering with indignation and anger against 
the humiliating ultimatum of Europe and its unjust op- 
pression. The hatred of the foreigner was intense, and 
confidence in the new government would be restored as 
soon as the foreigner met with a well-merited defeat. To 
secure that victory Napoleon left Paris on June 1 2. Before 
we enter on the consideration of his last campaign let us 



222 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

consider the condition of the forces with which he hoped 
to secure the victory. 

On his return from Elba the Emperor found not more 
than 200,000 men under arms. If he had followed the 
precedent of his earlier days he would have had recourse 
to an extra levy on the classes from 1806 to 18 14, to the 
class of 1815 and to the anticipation of the class of 18 16. 
But he hesitated to re-establish the conscription which had 
been abolished by Louis XVIII. The only possible ex- 
pedient was to recall to the army the soldiers on leave, 
and those who were absent without permission. Of the 
first category there were 32,800, of the second 85,000 ; but 
Davout reckoned that the number to be obtained in this 
way would not altogether be more than 59,000. The 
decree which gave this order was not issued till April 9, 
the Emperor having hoped that he might possibly be able 
to avoid war altogether, and the idea of a renewal of war 
was very repugnant to public opinion. As a matter of 
fact, the estimate given by Davout was exceeded by 25,000 
men, which was creditable to the patriotism of the country. 
One of Napoleon's first cares had been to reorganize the 
National Guard, but the result did not answer his expecta- 
tions. Out of the number of 234,720 summoned by 
various decrees issued between April 10 and May 15, 
about 150,000 were got together by June 15. As a final 
resource the Emperor was obliged to renew the conscrip- 
tion. This would give 150,000 men, of whom 20,000 had 
fought in the last campaign, but by June 11, less than 
50,000 had presented themselves. 

As for munitions of war, provisions, horses, uniforms, 
and shoes were almost entirely wanting. There were 
13,947 cannon, but horses, harness, and 600,000 rounds of 
ammunition had to be supplied. The arsenals contained 
only 195,000 muskets, of which 74,000 needed repair. 
Muskets were bought in England, Belgium, and the Rhine 
provinces, and every nerve was strained to provide them in 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 223 

France. The Emperor wrote to Davout on March 23: 
" The safety of the country depends on the number of 
muskets which we can provide." After all, about half the 
mobilized National Guard were without muskets. There 
were also no cuirasses, but Napoleon wrote to Davout : 
" Never mind ; set the soldiers under arms ; cuirasses are not 
indispensable to make war with." It was hoped that each 
soldier would have 100 rounds of ammunition, 50 in their 
belts, and 50 in reserve, but only the first 50 were provided 
on June 1. The uniforms were in rags, the soldiers were 
in need of both shoes and shirts ; when these deficiencies 
were supplied there was not sufficient blue cloth to provide 
uniforms. Horses were very deficient, but at the opening 
of the campaign the cavalry had 40,000, and the artillery 
16,500. Great pains were taken to put the fortresses in 
a condition of defence, and to provision them. 

For all these needs money was urgently required, and 
Napoleon was one of the greatest of financiers. He did 
not believe in loans ; because, as he said, he had no desire 
to live upon the future. Also he not only refrained from 
imposing new taxes, but abolished some duties of excise 
which had been created by Louis XVIII. He found an 
unexpected sum of 50,000,000 in the treasury, which had 
not been carried off to Ghent. By a number of ex- 
pedients, which would be difficult to explain without un- 
ravelling the intricacies of French finance, he managed to 
find money for his immediate needs. But there were great 
deficiencies. At the opening of the campaign about 
5,000,000 a month was required for the pay of the soldiers, 
and the military chest only contained about 670,000 francs. 

Let us now see of how many men his army was com- 
posed. The army of the north contained 124,139 men, 
and was commanded by the Emperor in person ; the army 
of the Rhine 23,097 men, under Rapp ; the army of the 
Alps, 23,617 men, under Suchet; the army of the 
Pyrenees, about 15,000 men, under Clausel and Decaen. 



224 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

There were also three Corps d'Armee, and four divisions 
of National Guards. Altogether the active army consisted 
of 284,000 men, and the reserve of 222,000. All this had 
been created in three months. If the war had continued 
these bodies would have been largely increased, and 
Napoleon was not far wrong when he boasted that by 
October 1 he would have been at the head of an army of 
800,000 men, including regulars and National Guards. 

Of the marshals, three, Berthier, Victor, and Marmont, 
had joined Louis XVIII in Belgium. Augereau was 
struck from the list for his conduct at Lyons in 18 14. 
Napoleon did not employ Gouvion de Saint Cyr or 
Oudinot. Macdonald refused to serve under him. Moncey 
and Lefebvre were left in the cold. Massena remained at 
Paris. Mortier, Suchet, and Jourdan were employed. 
Brune was sent to Marseilles. Ney had offended Napoleon 
too deeply, first by forcing him to abdicate, and then by 
saying that he would bring him back to Paris in an iron 
cage, to be entirely forgiven. On April 15 he had the 
audacity to tell Napoleon that he had made use of the 
expression in order to conceal his real projects. Napoleon 
said nothing, but his eyes glowed with unusual fire. Ney 
at first retired to his country seat, and then returned to 
Paris for the Champ de Mai. When he went to the 
Tuileries on June 6 his master said to him, " Here you are. 
I thought you had emigrated." " I ought to have done so 
earlier/' he replied. On June 11, just before leaving Paris, 
Napoleon wrote to the Minister of War : " Summon 
Marshal Ney, tell him that if he wishes to be present at 
the first battle he must join me at Avesnes on June 14." 
He arrived at Avesnes on June 13, where he dined with 
the Emperor ; but we shall see he only received his com- 
mand of the first and second Corps d'Armee on the after- 
noon of June 15. It would perhaps have been better if 
Napoleon had let him alone. Murat offered to shed for 
Napoleon his last drop of blood, but Napoleon refused ; 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 225 

for this he expressed his regret at St. Helena. " At 
Waterloo Murat might have gained us the victory. What 
was wanted? To break three or four English squares. 
Murat was precisely the man for that." Grouchy had 
a great reputation as a cavalry officer, and Napoleon could 
not know how fatal his services were to prove. 

Who was to be chief of the staff? Berthier, Prince of 
Wagram, was an ideal man for this position, and Napoleon 
would have received him gladly. He said to Rapp, " That 
blockhead Berthier, he will come back. I pardon him 
everything, but on condition that he appears before me in 
his bodyguard uniform." He indeed desired to return to 
France, where he had left his wife and his two daughters. 
After staying a short time with Louis XVIII at Ghent, he 
went to Bamberg, in the territories of the King of Bavaria, 
his uncle by marriage. At the beginning of May he 
endeavoured to reach the French frontier by Basel, but 
was stopped at Stockach by the Prince of Hohenzollern. 
On the afternoon of June 1, when a regiment of Russian 
troops was entering the town, he was watching them from 
a window in the third story of the palace at Bamberg, 
when he fell out and was taken up with a broken skull. 
He was said to have committed suicide, but it was very 
probably an accident. In default of Berthier, Napoleon 
was obliged to make use of Soult. Soult had great 
qualities, but not those of a chief of the staff. Others 
would have done better, but Napoleon wished to have 
a marshal in this position, and Soult was alone available. 
He was obliged to leave Davout behind at Paris, because 
he could entrust the care of the capital to no one else. It 
is remarkable that all the principal marshals and generals 
of Napoleon were, like himself, under fifty years of age, 
Napoleon was 46, Davout 45, Soult and Ney 46, Grouchy 
and Drouet d'Erlon 49, Vandamme 44, Rapp, Clausel, 
Pajol, 43. La B6doyere, the youngest of the generals of 
brigade, was only 29. 
Q 



226 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Unfortunately the spirit of the army left much to be 
desired. Many of the officers believed that Napoleon was 
lost, and that his defeat was inevitable. The soldiers were 
full of enthusiasm, but discipline was relaxed. The 
soldiers clamoured to be reviewed by the Emperor. They 
received their new eagles with enthusiastic exclamations 
and threatening oaths. They placed little tricolour flags 
in the barrels of their muskets. They swore, crossing their 
sabres over flaming punch, to conquer or die. They said, 
as they pointed to the bust of the Emperor, " He will be 
with us." They gave up their pay to meet the expenses 
of the war. They left their garrisons to wander through 
the villages crying " Vive TEmpereur ! " They tore up the 
white flags when they found them. They were eager to 
double their march in order to be present at the first 
battle. They said that they had no need of cartridges, 
because they could attack the enemy with the bayonet, 
that their shoes might go to the devil so long as the 
Emperor beat the allies. The army was warlike in tone, 
fevered with desire of vengeance, capable of heroic efforts, 
but impressionable, given to discussion without discipline, 
suspicious of its leaders, troubled by the fear of treason, 
and therefore accessible to panic. Never had Napoleon 
held in his hands an instrument so terrible and so weak. 

To turn to the allies. On March 25, when they formed 
the seventh coalition, they had only 80,000 men to resist 
an attack on Belgium. This force consisted of 30,000 
Prussians, 14,000 Saxons, 23,000 Anglo-Hanoverians, and 
10,000 Dutch-Belgians. On April 1 Napoleon could have 
crossed the frontier with 50,000 men and entered Brussels 
without striking a blow. Wellington was at Vienna, and 
Bliicher at Berlin. The Prussian generals, the Prince of 
Orange, and Wellington himself, were afraid of this step. 
Napoleon thought of it, but immediately rejected it. He 
knew that it would be a flash in the pan. He could not at 
the same time conquer Belgium and reorganize the army. 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 227 

He also hoped that peace might yet be possible. He did 
not seriously begin to consider his plan of campaign until 
the middle of May, when he had lost all hope of avoiding 
war. Various plans were proposed for the conquest of 
France. Gneisenau was in favour of invading France with 
four great armies, of which the fourth, the Russian, was 
to form the reserve. They were to march solidly on to 
Paris, without taking account of individual deserters. The 
opinion of Wellington was that hostilities should be com- 
menced on May 1 without waiting for the Russians, or 
even for the concentration of the other three armies. He 
advised the collection between the Sambre and the Meuse 
of 60,000 allied Hanoverian and British troops, 60,000 
Prussians, and 140,000 allied Austrian, Bavarian, Wurtem- 
berg, and Baden troops, in order to enter France with 
superior forces, and to manoeuvre in the direction of Paris. 
He knew that Napoleon's strength would be increased by 
every day of truce. At Vienna it was determined not to 
commence hostilities till June 1. Wellington and Bliicher 
regarded this as a month lost, Knesebeck and Schwarzen- 
berg as a month gained. Indeed, on June 10 Schwarzen- 
berg persuaded the sovereigns to adopt a plan, the execution 
of which was not to begin till June 27 or July 1. Bliicher 
was furious, because he said that he was longing to recover 
his pipe, which he had left behind at Paris. According 
to this plan, six armies were simultaneously to invade 
France. (1) The army of the Low Countries, consisting of 
93,000 English, Hanoverians, Brunswickers, Dutch, and 
Belgians, under Wellington between Maubeuge and Beau- 
mont. (2) The Prussian army, 117,000 strong, under 
Bliicher between Philippeville and Givet. (3) The Russian 
army, 1 50,000, under Barclay de Tolly, by Saint Louis and 
Saarbnick. (4) The army of the Upper Rhine, consisting 
of 210,000 Austrians, Bavarians, Wurtembergers, and 
Hessians, under Schwarzenberg, chiefly by Basel. These 
four armies were to march on Paris, the English by 



228 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Peronne, the Prussians by Laon, the Russians by Nancy, 
the Austrians by Langres. On the extreme left the army 
of North Italy, consisting of 38,000 Austrians and 12,000 
Piedmontese, under Frimont, and the Austrian army of 
Naples, consisting of 35,000 men, under Bianchi, were to 
cross the Alps, and march, one on Lyons, and the other on 
Provence, where the English squadron was to second their 
operations. 

Napoleon had a general knowledge of the plan of the 
allies, and two plans of campaign presented themselves to 
his mind. The first was to mass the bulk of his army 
round Paris, to concentrate the army of the Alps and the 
Jura at Lyons, to allow the allies to entangle themselves 
with the fortresses, which were not badly garrisoned. If 
the allies crossed the frontier on July 1, they would reach 
Lyons about July 18, and Paris about July 25, by which 
date preparations would be complete, the garrison con- 
sisting of about 80,000 men. Napoleon would have 
200,000 soldiers round Paris, and there would remain 
80,000 in the depots, and 158,000 in process of recruit- 
ment. Of the 645,000 allies who invaded France, 75,000 
would be occupied in the Lyons district and in Provence, 
while 150,000 would be required to secure their communi- 
cations. This would leave 420,000 men opposed to the 
200,000 of Napoleon. He would begin a campaign like 
that of 1 8 14, with 200,000 men instead of 90,000, and 
with Paris fortified and defended by 80,000 under Davout. 
The second plan, which was much more hazardous, but 
more in accordance with the best principles of war, was 
to attack the enemy before their forces were concen- 
trated. By June 15, the Emperor could collect on the 
northern frontier an army of 223,000 men. He would 
march into Belgium, defeat the English and Prussians 
separately, and then, after having received new reinforce- 
ments from the depots, he would join the 23.000 men 
under Rapp, and march against the Austrians and 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 229 

Russians. The first of these plans would have been the 
wisest, but the second was preferred for political reasons. 
A victory was necessary, to determine the waverers. Be- 
sides, he thought that if he gained the victory the Belgians 
would rally round him, and if he were beaten he could 
still fall back on the measures of defence. 

Napoleon hesitated long between these two plans, and 
having determined to take the offensive he was some days 
making up his mind where he should strike the first blow. 
He wished to attack the English and Prussian armies 
separately, and if possible to prevent their junction. If 
he attacked the right wing of Wellington by Lille or 
Conde he would throw the English army into the arms 
of the Prussians. If he attacked the left wing of Blucher 
by Givet and the valley of the Meuse he would throw the 
Prussians into the arms of the English. He therefore 
determined to attack the point of the junction of the two 
armies, which was the road from Charleroi to Brussels, 
and on this road he threw himself, by way of Beaumont 
and Philippeville, with the rapidity of lightning. Hob- 
house, visiting an aide-de-camp of the Emperor, found 
him employed mapping in detail the country on the 
Belgian frontier. " Would not," he said, " a separation of 
the Prussian and English armies, and a rapid march upon 
Brussels, surprise your politicians in England : we can 
beat Blucher first and then we shall try your Wellington. 
No one doubts the undaunted bravery of English soldiers, 
but the loss of 20,000 men would make the people of 
London look a little pale. You are rather sparing of your 
own blood, though I cannot say that you care about that 
of your friends," 

Authorities. — Besides those before mentioned, use has been made 
of Wellington's despatches. The letters written from Paris by Hob- 
house during the hundred days have been of great value. 



CHAPTER XVI 
LIGNY AND QUATRE BRAS 

NAPOLEON, leaving Paris on the night of 
June 1 1, reached Laon at midday on June 12, 
and came to sleep at Avesnes on June 1 3. On 
the evening of June 14 he established his 
head-quarters at Beaumont, in the centre of his army, close 
to the Belgian frontier. At the reveille the Emperor's 
order of the day, dated Avesnes, June 14, was read to 
them. " Soldiers, it is to-day the anniversary of Marengo 
and of Fnedland, battles which decided on two occasions the 
destiny of Europe. Then, as after Austerlitz and after 
Wagram, we were too generous. To-day, however, in coali- 
tion against us, the princes whom we left on the throne are 
attacking the independence and most sacred rights of 
France. They have begun the most unjust of aggressions. 
Let us march to meet them ; they as ourselves, are we not 
still the same men ? " 

At daybreak on June 15 the positions of the French 
army were as follows : — The first corps of 20,73 x men, 
under Drouet d'Erlon, formed the extreme left, and were 
posted between the road which leads from Avesnes to 
Maubeuge and Solre-sur-Sambre ; the second corps, 
25,179 men, under Reille, was between Solre-sur-Sambre 
and Liers ; the third corps, 18,105 men, under Vandamme, 
and the sixth corps, 10,821, under Lobau, was between 
Beaumont and the frontier. The fourth corps, 15,404 men, 
under Gerard, was between Philippeville and Florence ; 

230 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 231 

and the reserve of cavalry, 13,144 men, under Grouchy, 
was at Valcourt and Bossus. The Imperial Guard, 20,755 
men, was posted around Beaumont This army was pro- 
vided with 370 cannon, and bivouacked on a space not 
exceeding five miles by seven. Thus in two days 124,000 
men had been brought to the frontier from long distances 
close to the enemies* outposts, without the allies having 
taken any defensive measures. Never had a march of 
concentration been better conceived or more skilfully 
carried out. 

On the other hand, the Anglo- Prussian troops were 
scattered over a front more than a hundred miles long, 
and about thirty or forty broad. On June 14 the head- 
quarters of Blucher were at Namur. The first corps, 
30,800 men, under Ziethen, forming the right of the 
Prussian army, occupied Thuin, Marchiennes, Charleroi, 
Fleurus, Sombreffe, and Gembloux. The second corps, 
under Pirch I, Namur, and Heron and Hannut. The 
third corps, 23,700, under Thielmann, occupied Dinant 
and Huy. The fourth corps, 30,300, under Biilow, Liege 
and Tongres. The head-quarters of Wellington were at 
Brussels, and his army was posted from the Lys and the 
Scheldt to the Haine. The second corps, 27,321, under 
Lord Hill, occupied Ath, Oudenarde, Ghent, and Alost 
The first corps, 30,246, under the Prince of Orange, Mons, 
SenefFe, Nivelles, Genappe, Soignies, Braine le Comte, and 
Enghien. The cavalry, 9913, under Lord Uxbridge, was 
posted along the Dender, between Ninove, and Ath ; and 
the reserve, 25,597 men, was under the immediate com- 
mand of Wellington, in the environs of Brussels. From 
these positions it would have taken each of these armies 
three days to have concentrated in the line of contact, and 
double the time to concentrate on the English right and 
the Prussian left. There can be little doubt that neither 
Wellington nor Blucher expected an attack. On June 13, 
when Napoleon was posting from Laon to Avesnes, 



232 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Wellington was writing to Lord Lyndoch about Napoleon : 
" I judge from his speech to the legislature that his 
departure is not likely to be immediate"; and on June 3 
Bliicher had written to his wife from Namur : " We shall 
soon enter France ; we may easily remain here a year, for 
Bonaparte will not attack us." 

The advanced guard of the French army crossed the 
frontier at 3.30 a.m. on June 15. The main army advanced 
upon Charleroi in three divisions. The arrangements 
were made with the greatest skill. The whole army was 
to pass the Sambre before midday. Military authorities 
are agreed that the dispositions made for the advance of 
the army were a model, and that the genius of Napoleon 
for organization had never been more conspicuous than 
in the orders he gave. Unfortunately these orders were 
not punctually executed. Drouet d'Erlon started at 
4.30 a.m. instead of 3 a.m. Vandamme, who should have 
started at 3 a.m., did not receive his orders till 5 a.m., the 
orderly having fallen from his horse and broken his leg ; 
Gerard was also four hours late. Unfortunately also 
General de Bourmont, who commanded the leading division 
of the fourth corps, passed over to the enemy. He left a 
letter for Gerard in the following terms : " I do not wish 
to help to establish in France a bloody despotism which 
will destroy my country. I would have resigned and 
gone home if it had been possible. I shall not be seen 
in the ranks of the enemy, and I shall give them no 
information." He, however, did inform the Prussians that 
the French would attack Charleroi in the afternoon, and 
he told Ziethen that the French army was 120,000 strong. 
When he met Bliicher at 3 p.m. he would doubtless have 
given him any information he desired, but Bliicher would 
scarcely speak to him, and when his attention was called 
to the white cockade he wore, cried out, " Einerlei was das 
Volk fur ein Zeichen ansteckt, Hundsfott bleibt Hunds- 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 233 

fott." (" It does not matter what sort of a cockade a man 
wears, a rascal is always a rascal") 

The enemy was not in need of the information which 
Bourmont had given them. As early as June 9 Ziethen 
had been informed of the movement of troops towards 
the frontier. On June 12 Wellington was told that 
100,000 French were concentrating between Avesnes and 
Philippeville. On June 13 Dornberg, the commander of 
the light cavalry, wrote to Blucher that an attack appeared 
to him imminent, and on June 14 Pirch II announced 
from Marchiennes that the French would attack on the 
following day. Although Wellington and Blucher did not 
personally believe in the advance of Napoleon, they had 
met at Tirlemont on May 3, with a view to concerting 
operations. It is not known precisely what was arranged 
at this interview, but they probably agreed on some 
scheme of concentration before Brussels. This is shown 
by the general movement towards the right which was 
undertaken by the Prussian army on the following day. 
Ziethen was ordered to keep in touch with the army of 
Wellington, and in case of attack to await the movement 
of the enemy at Fleurus, and to send the earliest news of 
any danger to the two commanders-in-chief. Before mid- 
day on June 14 Blucher began to concentrate his army at 
Fleurus. Indeed, the advanced posts of Ziethen's army 
under Pirch II expected to be attacked at daybreak on 
June 15, and between the frontier and the Sambre they 
lost 500 men. 

The Sambre was crossed by two bridges at this point, 
that of Charleroi and that of Marchienne. The bridge of 
Marchienne was taken by a bayonet charge after two 
hours' conflict about midday, but the passage of the river 
did not begin till 4.30 p.m. In attacking the bridge at 
Charleroi Pajol had to await for Vandamme, but owing to 
Vandamme's delay the Emperor arrived first, and by his 
energetic presence the bridge was crossed about midday. 



234 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Napoleon passed through the town amid the cheers of the 
population. He stopped his horse at a little inn called 
La Belle Vue, just in front of the point where the two 
roads branch off to Brussels and Fleurus, a point which 
gave a view of the whole valley of the Sambre. He sat 
down on a chair by the side of the road and watched the 
passage of the troops. He was saluted by drums and 
trumpets, and the cheers of the soldiers. It is said that 
he fell asleep, which on a hot day is not incredible, after 
six or seven hours on horseback. At about 2 p.m. Gour- 
gaud came up with the news that the Prussians were 
in force at Gosselies, on the Brussels road. Napoleon sent 
immediately to Marshal Reille at Marchienne, ordering 
him to march on Gosselies. He also placed on the 
Brussels road a regiment of the Young Guard and a 
battery of horse artillery. He also ordered Lefebvre 
Desnoettes to support the first hussars with the light 
cavalry of the Guard, and dictated to Soult a letter for 
d'Erlon, telling him to march on Gosselies to help Reille. 
This letter had no sooner been sent at about 3.15 p.m. 
when Ney arrived on the scene. The Emperor said to 
him, " Good morning, Ney ! You are going to take com- 
mand of the first and second corps d'armee. I give you 
the light cavalry of my Guard, but do not make use of it. 
To-morrow you will be joined by Kellermann's cuiras- 
siers. Go ! Drive the enemy along the Brussels road, and 
take position at Quatre Bras." At this moment the 
English were advancing from Brussels and the Prussians 
from Namur ; they could only unite by the high road from 
Namur to Nivelles, which passed by Sombreffe, and 
crossed the road from Charleroi to Brussels at Quatre 
Bras. The Emperor wished to establish his left wing at 
Quatre Bras, and his right wing at Sombreffe, while he 
took position himself at Fleurus, at the apex of the 
triangle, at the base of which were two armies ready to 
attack whichever enemy first made his appearance. If both 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 235 

of them retired, he would enter Brussels without firing a 
shot. 

Ney left at once, and just then Grouchy came up, and 
received command of the right wing. He was ordered to 
attack the enemy in flank, to pursue them to Sombreffe, 
and take position there. These orders given, the Emperor 
returned to Charleroi. But he had better have remained at 
Gilly, because the attack was delayed by his absence, and 
Grouchy, ill supported by Vandamme, did not even succeed 
in occupying Fleurus. Ney succeeded in capturing Gos- 
selies, but he neglected the order of his master to push on 
farther, and only sent the lancers and the chasseurs of the 
guard to Quatre Bras. This body arrived at Frasnes at 
5.30 p.m., a village about 2 \ miles from Quatre Bras. It 
was defended by a Dutch battalion and a battery of horse 
artillery. Some Polish lancers pushed on as far as Quatre 
Bras, which was unoccupied, but, fearing to be left un- 
supported, Ney returned to Frasnes. Just at this moment 
Prince Bernard of Saxe Weimar took possession of Quatre 
Bras with four Dutch battalions. Ney then came up and 
saw that Quatre Bras was defended by four thousand men 
and six guns, so after posting his light cavalry at Frasnes 
he returned to Gosselies for the night. Ney was quite 
right in determining at 7 p.m. that it would be unwise to 
attack Quatre Bras ; but if he had marched on at 5 p.m., 
with even a part of his troops, he could have defeated the 
Dutch. Excuse is made for him that he was afraid of 
having to meet the whole army of Wellington, but for the 
first time in his life he acted with caution, and that caution 
was fatal to his master. But although Napoleon had failed 
to gain possession of the important strategic positions of 
Quatre Bras and Sombreffe, he had nevertheless estab- 
lished his army of 124,000 men in a triangle, the sides 
of which were nine miles long, in the very centre of the 
allies. To all appearance the allies were surprised. Not 
a single English uniform had been seen, nor had the 



236 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Prussians appeared in force. Indeed, Napoleon was of 
opinion that evening that he had broken the concert of the 
allies, and that they had retired, the Prussians towards 
Liege and Maestricht, and the English towards Ostend and 
Antwerp. He felt certain of victory. 

The plan he formed for June 16 was to attack the 
Prussians with Grouchy and occupy SombrefTe and Gem- 
bloux, then to join Ney with the reserve and occupy 
Quatre Bras, from which he could make a night march 
to Brussels, reaching it at 7 a.m. on June 17. He sent out 
orders to this effect between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Just at 
this time news arrived from Grouchy that strong Prussian 
forces were advancing from the Namur road upon Brye 
and St. Amand, in the direction of Fleurus. This entirely 
upset Napoleon's plans. He recognized that he would 
have to engage the whole Prussian army on his right, and 
possibly the whole English army on his left. But he was 
loath to believe that he had been mistaken, and he repeated 
the orders previously given to Ney and Grouchy, sending 
them, for sake of security, by Flahaut and La Bedoyere. 
Just as the Emperor was leaving Charleroi for Fleurus, 
between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., news arrived that strong forces 
of the enemy were massed in the direction of Quatre Bras. 
He therefore reiterated his order to Ney in the following 
terms : "Blticher was yesterday at Namur ; it is,not likely 
that he has marched to Quatre Bras; you can only have 
before you troops coming from Brussels. Collect the 
divisions of Reille and d'Erlon and of Kellermann; with 
these forces you will be able to beat and destroy all the 
enemy's forces which may present themselves." Lobau 
was to remain at Charleroi to help Ney if necessary. 
Napoleon then left and reached Fleurus just before 11 a.m. 
He found Grouchy there to his surprise, for he supposed 
that he was at SombrefTe. The Emperor rode along the 
line and established himself in a windmill built of brick, 
which dominated the plain. 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 237 

Blucher had reached Sombreffe from Namur at 4 p.m. 
on June 15. He determined to fight the next day behind 
the brook of the Ligne, a position which he had previously 
reconnoitred for the purpose. He was full of spirit, and 
thought himself invincible. He wrote to his wife, " With 
my 120,000 Prussians I would undertake to conquer 
Tripoli, Tunis, and Algiers, if I had not got to cross the 
sea." But at 1 1 a.m. he had only in line Ziethen's corps, 
now reduced to 28,000 men. The corps of Pirch I (21,000) 
only arrived at Sombreffe at midday, followed by Thiel- 
mann's corps, 24,000. Billow's, with 30,000, was far behind. 
Nevertheless, he determined to fight, in the hope, it is said, 
that the English would assist him. The Germans say 
that Wellington had given a formal promise to do so, but 
that is not borne out by the evidence. He had said to 
Colonel Pfuel, sent by Blucher on the evening of June 13, 
" My army will be concentrated at Nivelles or at Quatre 
Bras, according to circumstances, 22 hours after the first 
cannon is fired." Wellington believed that the main attack 
of Napoleon would be by way of Mons, and he thought 
that the march on Charleroi might be only a feint, In the 
afternoon of June 15, he said to Muffling, " If everything is 
as Ziethen believes, I will concentrate on my left wing, so as 
to act in concert with the Prussian army ; but if a part of 
the enemy's forces marches on Mons, I shall be obliged to 
concentrate on my centre. I must therefore wait for news 
from my outposts at Mons before deciding. However, 
since the departure of my troops is certain, although their 
destination is uncertain, I will give orders for them to hold 
themselves in readiness to march." These orders were sent 
out between 6 p.m. and 7. p.m. June 1 5. It was on that even- 
ing that took place the famous ball of the Duchess of Rich- 
mond. About 200 guests were invited, including the Prince 
of Orange, Prince Frederick of the Netherlands, the Prince 
of Nassau, Wellington of course, Pozzo di Borgo, Muffling, 
Clinton, Ponsonby, Picton, Vivian, Byng, Pack, Kempt, 



238 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Maitland, and many others whose names have become 
household words. Lord Uxbridge rode over from Ninove, 
twenty miles from Brussels, and consulted with Wellington 
at the ball. Wellington arrived at midnight. He told 
Brunswick that Napoleon had invaded Belgium, and that 
there would be a battle on that day. The duke grew pale, 
and shuddered, with a presentiment of death. Wellington 
repeated to the generals verbally the orders which he had 
already given in writing, and the officers left one by one. 
The ball continued till the morning. Wellington left at 
3 a.m. The Duchess, it is said, wakened up her youngest 
daughter, afterwards Lady de Ros, to buckle on his sword. 
Wellington, leaving Brussels at 6 a.m., reached Quatre 
Bras at io a.m. He found there the division of Perponcher. 
He then advanced men enough to Frasnes to observe the 
French outposts. He then ordered Picton's division and 
Brunswick's corps, who had halted at Waterloo, to continue 
their march, and he wrote to Blucher that Quatre Bras was 
occupied by a division of the Prince of Orange, and that 
the English army was marching on that point. The letter 
ended thus : " I do not observe many of the enemy in front 
of us, and I am waiting for news of your excellency to 
decide these operations." He then determined to have an 
interview with Blucher. They met on the heights of Brye, 
and ascended the windmill of Bussy, destroyed in 1895, 
which gave a better view than the mill of Fleurus. They 
saw the French columns advance, and recognized the 
Emperor in the midst of his staff. They became aware 
that they had to engage the whole of the French army. 
Wellington said to Blucher in French, " Que voulez-vous 
que je fasse ? " After some conversation he added, u Cest 
5a, je culbuterai ce que j'ai devant moi a Frasnes et je 
marcherai a Cossets." Gneisenau, who wished the 
English troops to act as a reserve to the Prussians, objected 
to this, and Wellington said finally, " Eh bien ! je viendrai 
si je ne suis pas attaque moi-meme," 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 239 

Blucher now made preparations for battle. The Prussian 
position was marked by the three villages of Brye, Som- 
breffe and Tongrinne, with the brook of the Ligne, about 
12 feet broad, easily to be jumped, running beneath them. 
On this stream was the village of Ligny, with two large 
farms, a church with a walled churchyard, and an old 
castle of the Counts of Looz. Several other villages or 
hamlets in front,*such as La Haye, Petit St. Amand, 
Grand St. Amand, Tongrinelle, Balatre, constituted posts 
of defence. From the mill of Fleurus the position 
appeared weaker than it really was, because the ravines 
were concealed. Napoleon would have liked to attack at 
once, but he had to wait for the corps of Gerard, which 
did not arrive till 1 p.m. Gerard told the Emperor of 
Bourmont's treason, and his only remark was, *' I told you, 
GeVard, that what is blue is always blue, and what is white 
is always white." Napoleon now thought of surrounding 
Blucher, and therefore wrote to Ney at 2 p.m. by Soult : 
" The Emperor charges me to tell you that the enemy has 
concentrated a body of troops between Sombreffe and 
Brye, and that Marshal Grouchy will attack with the 
third and fourth corps at 2.30 p.m. The intention of his 
Majesty also is that you should attack what is before you, 
and that after having vigorously pressed the enemy you 
should retreat upon us in order to help in surrounding the 
body of which I speak." 

Blucher saw the French movements from the mill of 
Bussy, and hastened to complete his order of battle by 
occupying the village of Ligny. He did not destroy any 
of the bridges across the Ligne, in order that he might be 
able to cross them if he desired to take the offensive. 
Napoleon now saw that the whole of the Prussian army 
was before him. He said to Gerard, "Perhaps in three 
hours the fate of the war will be decided. If Ney executes 
his orders well, not a single gun of this army will escape 
me." At 3.15 Soult sent another despatch to Ney: "I 



240 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

wrote to you at I p.m. that the Emperor is attacking the 
enemy in the position which they have taken between 
the villages of St. Amand and Brye. At this very moment 
the fight is proceeding vigorously. His Majesty charges 
me to tell you that you must manoeuvre immediately so as 
to envelop the right of the enemy, and to fall upon his 
rear. This army is lost if you act vigorously. The fate of 
France is in your hands, so do not hesitate to make the 
movement which the Emperor orders, and march on the 
heights of St. Amand and Brye." Just at this moment 
Napoleon was informed that Ney had 20,000 of the enemy 
before him. He knew then that he could not do what he 
wished, but he hoped that he could keep the English in 
check with Reille's corps, and send d'Erlon's to help him- 
self. So he sent a direct order to d'Erlon to march behind 
the Prussian right, and said that this order was to be com- 
municated to Ney. At the same time he ordered Lobau, 
who was at Charleroi, to march on Fleurus. 

The battle began at 3 p.m. The battlefield was covered 
with ripe corn, three or four feet high, which hindered the 
march of the columns. A vigorous attack was made on 
Ligny, but it failed. The artillery then opened fire, and at 
the fourth assault the French became masters of the upper 
villages. A terrible conflict took place in the little square. 
The soldiers fought as if animated by personal hatred ; 
no one thought of asking or giving quarter. At length 
the Prussians gave way, and the church and the church- 
yard were occupied by the French. The Prussians, how- 
ever, defended themselves on the other side of the Ligne, 
which was hotly contested along its whole length. Gerard 
scattered the Prussian right, but was mortally wounded 
in the action. Bliicher himself came down from the wind- 
mill and drove the French back. At last, at 5.50 p.m., 
Napoleon prepared to give the coup de grace with his 
reserves, hoping for the co-operation of Ney. Just at this 
moment a body of 20,000 men was seen in the direction of 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 241 

Fleurus. Was it the English, or was it d'Erlon, or perhaps 
a Prussian corps d'armee? The Emperor wished to see, 
and suspended his attack. Blucher now thought he was 
certain of victory, and, although 73 years of age, led his 
troops against St. Amand. He found that all the ammu- 
nition had been used, even that which remained in the 
pouches of the dead. He cried, " With the bayonet !" and, 
riding his magnificent white horse, the gift of the Prince 
Regent, carried with him his soldiers, who were electrified 
by his enthusiasm. He took Petit St. Amand, and thought 
the battle over. But it was only 7.30 p.m., and the dark- 
ness which he believed to be night was a violent storm. 

By this time Napoleon had discovered that the troops which 
had been seen were the corps of d'Erlon, which had been 
already recalled by Ney, just as they were coming into action. 
He now gave orders for the final assault, which was directed 
on Ligny. He led the assault himself, and the Emperor 
was irresistible. Blucher, on galloping back from La 
Haye, found his troops in full retreat, and the bearskins of 
the Guard mounting the slope. He did his best to stop the 
confusion, but in vain. His horse was shot under him, and 
he was carried off the field by a faithful aide-de-camp. It 
is said that 8000 Prussian deserters were stopped on the 
following day between Lidge and Aix-la-Chapelle. The 
Emperor returned to Fleurus at 11 p.m., and nearly the 
whole of the French army bivouacked on the left bank. 
During the night it was found that 20,000 Prussians and 
11,000 French lay dead or wounded on the field. 

There can be little doubt that Ney might have occupied 
Quatre Bras on the evening of June 15. But having 
failed to do this, he should have concentrated his forces so 
that at 9 a.m. he might have had before the position 
sufficient troops to take it. He evidently showed want of 
energy and an excess of caution, but he prevented Welling- 
ton from assisting Blucher. When Flahaut brought him 
Napoleon's letter, sent off at 8.30 a.m., at about 11 a.m., 



242 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

he confined himself to ordering a forward march. Napo- 
leon thought that Ney might occupy Quatre Bras without 
difficulty, under the idea that the Brussels road was open ; 
but there is no reason why Ney should have fallen into the 
same error. Reille also delayed so long that his forces 
could not be employed till the afternoon. It is true that 
even at this time the Prince of Orange was only holding 
Quatre Bras with 7800 bayonets and fourteen cannon, but 
he was determined to maintain it at all hazards till the 
arrival of the English. The hamlet of Quatre Bras was 
not difficult to defend. It consisted of three large farms 
and two houses, situated at the junction of the Charleroi, 
Brussels, Namur, and Nivelles roads. The causeway lead- 
ing to Namur formed a natural entrenchment, and was 
protected by the advanced farm of Piermont on one side 
of the Charleroi road, and by the wood of Bossu on the 
other, while on the Charleroi road itself, about a mile and 
a half distant, was the large farm of Gemioncourt. Al- 
though 8000 troops were not sufficient to defend so 
extended a position, Perponcher did his best with the 
forces at his disposal. However, when Wellington returned 
from his interview with Bliicher at 2.30 p.m., he found that 
Ney had driven back the Prince of Orange from the 
advanced positions of the enemy, and had taken two guns. 
He judged the situation critical and serious. But rein- 
forcements arrived, Van Merlin by the Nivelles road, and 
Picton by the Brussels road. At about 3.30 p.m. Picton 
moved towards the left to defend the Namur road, with 
the brigades of Kempt and Pack kneeling in the first line, 
in the cornfields, and the Hanoverian brigade in the 
second line, protected by the slope of the ground. At 
this moment the French were pushing their advantage 
with considerable success, and Wellington personally was 
forced to retire. 

Just at this moment, a little before 4 p.m., Soult's letter 
dated 2 p.m. arrived, ordering Ney to press the enemy 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 243 

hard and then to return to Brye to surround the Prussians. 
Ney now made a general move in advance. The allies 
began to give way on the right and the centre. The 
Brunswickers charged the French infantry ; but at the 
head of his lancers a ball struck the Duke in the stomach 
and he was carried into a house where he died during the 
evening. He was the son of the Duke who had issued the 
notorious manifesto against the French Revolutionists, and 
who had been mortally wounded in the battle of Auerstadt. 
Twice the Duke of Wellington was in personal danger : 
once he escaped from his pursuers by jumping a garden 
fence ; and at another time an officer, coming up from the 
rear to attack him, was shot through both legs by some 
soldiers, who faced round just in time, and his horse fell 
dead as he reached the Duke. 

In order to complete his attack, Ney had reckoned upon 
the assistance of d'Erlon's division, which was 20,000 
strong, and we must now follow the fortunes of that 
unhappy general. In the morning d'Erlon had concen- 
trated his five divisions at Jumet, about i| miles behind 
Gosselies, where he had arrived the evening before with 
the divisions of Durutte and Donzelot. As Reille's division 
did not leave Gosselies, he awaited instructions. A little 
before 11 a.m. he was ordered by Reille to prepare to 
follow him, saying, however, that he should not move till he 
received further orders. At 12.15 he received an order 
from Ney to advance, but he had to wait until Reille's 
corps was on the march. His advanced guard did not 
arrive at Gosselies till 2 p.m., and he waited there an hour. 
At about 4 p.m., when about two miles from Frasnes, he 
received the order from the Emperor previously mentioned, 
telling him to march to the heights of St. Amand to attack 
Ligny. Unfortunately he misread the order, which was 
badly written in pencil, and mistook "sur la hauteur de 
Saint Amand" for "a la hauteur de St. Amand," and 
therefore instead of taking the direction of Brye and Ligny 



244 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

to attack the Prussians in the rear, he marched towards 
St. Amand and Fleurus, which merely had the effect of 
prolonging Napoleon's left, first sending a message to 
Ney to inform him of what he was doing. He was, how- 
ever, so near the enemy that he could distinctly read the 
numbers painted on the Prussian knapsacks. His artillery 
came into action, and was just about to open fire when he 
was recalled. Ney, on hearing of his march, was beside 
himself with rage, especially when he received the despatch 
of Soult a few minutes afterwards, telling him that the 
fate of France was in his hands. He now saw the head of 
Alten's division advancing from Quatre Bras, and knew 
that he would be severely attacked. He also believed that 
the project of the Emperor for destroying the Prussian 
army could not be realized, in which he was mistaken. He 
entirely lost his self-command, and prayed that he might 
soon be killed by one of the English bullets which were 
striking the ground and rebounding close to him. His 
expression was most energetic : " Ah ! ces boulets anglais, 
je voudrais qu'ils m'entrassent tous dans le ventre." In 
this condition it is hardly strange if he sent an imperative 
order to d'Erlon to return at once, although he must have 
been aware that he could be of no use. In his despair he 
thought it possible that he might crush the English by 
a charge, and then join d'Erlon and carry out the design 
of the Emperor. All his troops were engaged except 
Kellermann's cuirassiers and the cavalry of the Guard. 
He said to Kellermann, " My dear general, the safety of 
France is at stake. An extraordinary effort is needed 
from your cavalry. Throw yourselves into the midst of the 
English : crush them : ride over their bodies." Kellermann 
pointed out to him that the English were 25,000 strong, 
that he had with him only one brigade of cuirassiers, his 
three other brigades being in the rear. Ney replied, 
" What does it matter ? Charge with what you have ! Ride 
over them. I will follow you with all the cavalry in the 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 245 

field. Be off — only be off! " Kellermann hastened to obey, 
and advanced his men quickly, that they might not be 
aware of the extent of the danger. On the west side of 
the road stood the brigade of Colin Halkett, " preparing 
for cavalry " his soldiers formed in squares, calm, resolute, 
and immovable, reserving their fire. The 69th, who were 
in lines of columns, did not fire till the enemy were thirty 
paces distant. The cuirassiers passed through the hail of 
balls like lightning. They then attacked the 69th, and in 
less than two minutes 150 of their 580 men were lying on 
the ground, dead or dying. They then charged the square 
of the 30th, and fell upon the 33rd. They mounted the 
slope, sabred some gunners at their guns, broke a square 
of Brunswickers, and reached the large farm of Quatre 
Bras. Kellermann had achieved considerable success. 
His two regiments, now reduced to 500 riders of breath- 
less horses, found themselves in the midst of Wellington's 
army. They were swept by the fire of the Dutch from 
the wood of Bossu, of the English from the causeway of 
the Namur road, of the Brunswickers from the village of 
Quatre Bras, by other Germans from the Brussels road. 
Kellermann's horse was killed under him, and when he fell 
his soldiers broke and fled. At this moment Ney, having 
had two horses killed under him, was standing in the most 
exposed position, transported with rage, his face suffused 
with blood, brandishing his sword like a madman. Baudus, 
sent by Napoleon, found him in this condition, and reported 
the Emperor's orders that d'Erlon should support him at 
all hazards, so that he might make an end of the Prussian 
army. Ney admitted that he had just sent d'Erlon an 
imperative order to return, and it was impossible to make 
him recall it. The French fought bravely, and the battle 
was not over till 9 p.m. ; 4300 French and 4700 allies lay 
dead and wounded on the field. The battle was un- 
doubtedly lost by the French, although the two armies 
occupied the positions which they had held in the morning. 



246 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Just at the conclusion of the struggle, cTErlon's corps 
advanced from Frasnes along the Brussels road. 

When d'Erlon received Ney's order to return at 6 p.m., 
he hesitated whether to obey the marshal or the Emperor. 
He said afterwards, " I judged that the marshal must be 
in great peril, to recall me contrary to the wish of the 
Emperor." But he should have reflected that he was only 
three kilometres from Fleurus and three leagues from 
Quatre Bras. He could crush the Prussians, but he could 
not assist Ney. When they returned to Frasnes at night- 
fall, his troops were irritated and ashamed of having done 
nothing during the day. 

We have seen that although the centre of the Prussians 
had been broken at Ligny, the two wings had been able to 
retreat in good order, and therefore the Emperor did not 
at first think of pursuing them beyond SombrefTe. He 
was also anxious about the fate of his left wing, as during 
the whole of the day he had not received a single despatch 
from Ney. So when Grouchy came to him at Fleurus at 
ii p.m. to ask for orders, he told him to pursue the 
enemy at daybreak with the cavalry of Pajol and Exelmans. 
Whilst Napoleon was at breakfast about 7 a.m., Flahaut 
came back from Frasnes and gave him an account of the 
battle of Quatre Bras. About the same time he received 
a despatch from Pajol dated Balatre, 4 a.m., saying that he 
was following the enemy, who were in full retreat towards 
Liege and Namur, and that he had already made a number 
of prisoners. Balatre is three kilometres south of Som- 
brefTe. He inferred, therefore, that the Prussians were re- 
treating towards Liege and Namur, and that the English 
were still holding Quatre Bras, but he could not tell 
whether the whole Prussian army had taken this direction, 
or whether the whole English army was holding Quatre 
Bras or merely the rear-guard. At the same time Grouchy 
came for orders, and was told to accompany the Emperor 
to the hill of Brye. Soult also wrote to Ney at about the 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 247 

same hour that he was to send accurate information about 
his position. If Wellington's army was at Quatre Bras, 
the Emperor would attack it from the Namur road, but if 
there was only a rear-guard, Ney was to attack it and take 
possession. A little before 9 a.m. Napoleon left the chateau 
of Fleurus to visit the field of battle. Finding that his 
travelling carriage was impeded by the ground, he mounted 
on horseback and rode through Ligny, St. Amand, and 
La Haye. He was especially kind to the Prussian 
wounded. Finding a Prussian colonel very badly muti- 
lated, he called a peasant, and said to him in a grave tone, 
" Do you believe in hell ? " " Yes/' was the reply. " Well, 
if you do not wish to go to hell, take care of this wounded 
man whom I entrust to your charge. If not, God will burn 
you ; He wishes that you should be charitable." Arriving 
at the mill of Bussy, he passed his troops in review, and 
the shouts of "Vive l'Empereur!" were heard by the 
Prussians two miles off. He then had a long conversation 
with Grouchy and other generals about the political con- 
dition of Paris, apparently adjourning the moment of 
decisive military action. 

About 1 1 a.m. the Emperor received three pieces of in- 
formation : one from Ney, that the English were holding 
Quatre Bras in force; another from Pajol, that he had 
captured eight guns and many carriages on the Namur 
road ; and a third from Exelmans, that the Prussians had 
been seen near Gembloux, which is about four miles north- 
east of Sombreffe, on the Namur road. He was now in a 
position to make some definite arrangements. He there- 
fore told Lobau to support Ney at Quatre Bras by turning 
the English left, and Drouot to support the movement 
with the whole of the Guard. The Emperor then said to 
Grouchy, "While I march against the English you will 
pursue the Prussians. You will have under your orders 
the corps of Vandamme and Gerard, the division of Teste, 
the cavalry of Pajol, Exelmans, and Milhaud." On second 



248 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

thoughts, however, he transferred some of Grouchy's cavalry 
to himself. A little later he extended the verbal order 
he had given to Grouchy in writing as follows : " Go to 
Gembloux with the cavalry of Pajol and Exelmans, with 
the light cavalry of the 4th corps, the division of Teste, 
and the 3rd and 4th corps of infantry. Send scouts in 
the direction of Namur and Maestricht, and pursue the 
enemy. Find out the direction of his march, and instruct 
me about his movements so that I may penetrate his 
designs. I am fixing my head-quarters at Quatre Chemins, 
where the English were this morning. Our communica- 
tion will therefore be direct by the paved Namur road. If 
the enemy has evacuated Namur write to the general 
commanding the 2nd military division at Charlemont, so 
that he may occupy the town with some battalions of the 
National Guard. It is important to find out what Bliicher 
and Wellington are going to do, if they propose to join 
their forces to cover Brussels and Liege and to risk a 
battle. In any case keep your two infantry corps always 
within the space of three square miles, with several means 
of retreat Place detachments of cavalry so as to com- 
municate with Head-Quarters. ,, The force under Grouchy's 
order amounted to about 33,000 men. The distance be- 
tween Gembloux and Quatre Bras, following the high road, 
would be about eleven miles. At midday Soult had joined 
the Emperor. He made him write to Ney that he should 
attack the English at once, and that he would be sup- 
ported by the Emperor. Napoleon then set out for 
Quatre Bras, taking with him the soldiers of Lobau, all 
the Guard, the division of Domon and Subervie, and the 
cuirassiers of Milhaud. 

Napoleon, Soult, Grouchy, and the whole of the French 
staff, believed that the Prussians were retreating toward 
the Meuse, whereas they were really retiring on the Dyle. 
It will be remembered that in the battle of Ligny Bliicher 
was thrown from his horse and nearly made prisoner. He 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 249 

was carried into a cottage bruised and fainting, and his 
staff did not know whether he was a prisoner or free, alive 
or dead. The command developed upon Gneisenau, who 
was the senior officer, and the responsibility of determin- 
ing the line of retreat devolved upon him. On horseback 
in the middle of the road from Brye to Namur he con- 
sulted his map by the light of the moon, and gave the 
order, " Retreat on Tilly and Wavre." Wellington wrote a 
few days afterwards to the King of Holland that this was 
" the decisive moment of the generation." But Gneisenau 
in all probability did not realize its importance. 

On leaving the Emperor at 11.30 a.m. close to the mill 
of Bussy, Grouchy sent a message to General Vandamme 
at Saint Amand to march to a point called Point du Jour, 
where the road from Namur to Nivelles crossed that from 
Charleroi to Gembloux. He also sent Exelmans on to 
Gembloux. He then rode to Ligny to give his instruc- 
tions to Gerard orally. On the way he met Soult, who 
was going to join the Imperial staff. When he had left, 
Soult remarked to an aide-de-camp, " It is a mistake to 
detach so large a body from the army which is going to 
march against the English. A weak corps of infantry and 
the cavalry of Exelmans and Pajol would be sufficient to 
follow the Prussians." At Ligny, Grouchy found Gerard 
in a bad humour because he had not been made a marshal 
after the battle. He ordered him to march to Gembloux, 
but he was obliged to wait till the corps of Vandamme 
had marched on the same route. Vandamme's corps did 
not reach Point du Jour till 3 p.m., marching at the rate of 
two kilometres an hour, the ground being almost impas- 
sable from the torrential rains. Grouchy arrived at this 
point at the same time as Vandamme ; how he had spent 
the interval no one can say. 

At Point du Jour or at Sombreffe, Grouchy received a 
letter from Exelmans saying that he saw masses of the 
Prussian army on the left bank of the Orneau, and that he 



2SO THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

would follow them when they began to march. Grouchy 
ought to have galloped on to Gembloux directly, but he 
remained with the troops, who proceeded very slowly. 
Vandamme reached that village at 7 p.m., and Grouchy at 
9 p.m. The Prussians had departed some time before, 
and Exelmans had lost touch with them. Grouchy caught 
or inspired the contagion of sloth. He stayed at Gem- 
bloux for the night. It is true that the roads were in a 
terrible condition and that the rain was falling in torrents, 
but that impeded the Prussians as much as the French. 
In the night Grouchy received several pieces of intelli- 
gence which might have made him infer that the Prussians 
were marching upon Wavre. From Gembloux the Prus- 
sians might take two routes— that to Perwez towards the 
east, which would lead them to Liege, and that to Wavre 
to the north, which would effect their junction with Wel- 
lington. Grouchy wrote to the Emperor at 10 p.m. that 
the Prussians had apparently divided into two columns, 
one going to Wavre and the other to Perwez ; that he 
inferred that a part was marching to join Wellington, 
whilst the centre, under Blucher, was retreating to Liege ; 
that if the mass of the Prussians retired on Wavre he 
would follow them in that direction. But it is the opinion 
of those best able to judge that he neglected the first of 
these alternatives and fixed his mind entirely on the 
second. 

On the side of Quatre Bras French and English re- 
mained in their positions during the morning of June 17. 
Ney did not hear the result of the battle of Ligny till 
9 a.m. Wellington, who had slept at Genappe, returned 
early in the morning to Quatre Bras. He sent an aide-de- 
camp, Colonel Gordon, to gain information. Gordon met 
Ziethen at Tilly, and heard from him that the Prussian 
army was beaten or was retreating on Wavre. Pie gave 
this information to Wellington at 7.30 a.m., who, in his 
impatience, was walking up and down the Charleroi road 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 251 

in front of Quatre Bras. Wellington now knew that he 
must retire, to avoid being attacked by Ney in front and 
by Napoleon on the flank He said to Muffling, "Old 
Blucher has received a damned good hiding. He has 
gone eighteen miles to the rear. We must do the same. 
I suppose they will say in England that we have been 
beaten. I cannot help it." Muffling observed that matters 
were not so bad after all. 

Wellington determined to take up a position on the 
plateau of Mont St. Jean, which he had reconnoitred for 
that purpose the year before, so he delayed the retreat 
till 10 a.m. He ordered Hill to withdraw to Waterloo 
the divisions which were marching on Quatre Bras. He 
then wrapped himself up in his cloak and went to sleep 
till 9 a.m. At this moment a messenger came from 
Gneisenau to say that the whole Prussian army was con- 
centrating at Wavre, and to ask his intentions. The 
Duke replied, " I am going to take up my position at 
Mont St. Jean, and shall there await Napoleon and en- 
gage a battle if I have the hope of being supported by 
a single Prussian corps. But if this support fails me, I 
shall be compelled to sacrifice Brussels and to retreat 
behind the Scheldt." The English now began their re- 
treat without any interference from Ney. The divisions 
of Cook and Picton, the Dutch-Belgians of Perponcher, 
the division of Alten, and the corps of Brunswick, retired 
successively by the Brussels road. The cavalry of Ux- 
bridge masked and covered the retreat without Ney doing 
anything to inconvenience him. At about 1 p.m. Napoleon 
arrived at Marbais, about three miles from Quatre Bras, 
where he waited to receive news of Ney or to hear the 
sound of his cannon. When he heard nothing, he deter- 
mined to push on to Quatre Bras and form his troops in 
order of battle. He soon received information from an 
English camp-follower that no troops remained in that 
position except the cavalry of Lord Uxbridge. It was 



252 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

now 2 p.m., and a heavy storm was coming up. Suddenly 
Lord Uxbridge saw appear on a ridge of rising ground a 
horseman, followed by a small escort, who stood out against 
the sky like a statue. Lord Uxbridge recognized Napoleon 
and cried, " Fire ! and aim well ! " The English guns were 
replied to by the artillery of the Guard. Then the light- 
ning flashed and the rain began to fall in torrents. 

Napoleon had indeed good reason to be discontented. 
He sent for d'Erlon and Ney. He reproached the first for 
having delayed on the previous day his movement against 
the Prussian right wing. D'Erlon excused himself by 
saying that, being placed under the direct command of 
Ney, he thought that it was his duty to obey the direct 
command of his immediate chief. He found fault with 
Ney for not having occupied Quatre Bras in the morning 
of June 16, and said, " France is lost." He had previously 
sent a letter to Ney at 8 a.m., which contained these words: 
41 The Emperor has seen with pain that you did not succeed 
yesterday ; the divisions did not act together, and there- 
fore you suffered losses. If the divisions of d'Erlon and 
Reille had been together, not an Englishman would have 
escaped; if d'Erlon had executed the movement which 
Napoleon ordered, the Prussian army would have been 
destroyed and we might have captured 30,000 prisoners." 
It is, indeed, inconceivable that Ney should have been left 
so long without news of the battle of Ligny. Napoleon 
now bent all his energy to the pursuit of the English, with 
the hope of forcing them to an engagement. The English 
galloped away, the French following like a fox hunt, 
hussars and artillery going like mad, blinded by the 
lightning and lashed by the rain. Lord Uxbridge rode 
at the side of his troops, crying, " Faster ! faster ! or you 
will be taken ! " The English arrived at Genappe, crossed 
the Dyle, and took up a position to the north. A combat 
took place in the long street of the village, and the English 
were slowly driven back. Napoleon arrived upon the 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 253 

scene dripping wet, and placing a battery in position, 
called out to the gunners, in accents of rage and hatred, 
" Fire ! fire ! they are English ! " After passing Genappe 
the pace slackened considerably, and the roads became 
almost impassable from the rain. Napoleon arrived at an 
inn called the " Belle Alliance/' so named because the old 
and ugly innkeeper had married a young and pretty 
peasant. At 6.30 p.m. the French hussars were pursuing 
the Brunswick infantry down the hollow, when they were 
brought up by the fire of the English artillery* The rain 
had ceased, but a damp fog enveloped the plain. The 
Emperor at last became certain that he had the whole ot 
Wellington's army before him, and determined to halt. 
After marking out the bivouacs for the different divisions, 
the Emperor returned to sleep at the farm of Le Caillou, 
where the rooms he occupied are still to be seen. The 
French passed a terrible night in the wet cornfields ; the 
English were better off, because the bulk of their army had 
reached their positions before the rain began. The cavalry 
of Lord Uxbridge suffered most. Both commanders spent 
the night in anxiety. Napoleon felt certain that he could 
destroy the English, provided that they did not retreat and 
the Prussians did not come up in force to assist them. 
Wellington scarcely dared to fight unless he were sure of 
some Prussian co-operation ; but he received a letter from 
Bliicher at his head-quarters in the village of Waterloo 
about 2 a.m., saying that he would despatch Billow's corps 
to join the English at daybreak, and send after it that of 
Pirch. His other two corps should follow if not pre- 
vented. He must keep Thielmann and Ziethen to oppose 
Grouchy. Napoleon slept but little. At about 1 a.m. he 
visited the outposts with Bertrand, the rain falling in 
torrents. The army of the allies was sunk in sleep, but 
red fires gleamed on the horizon. There was no sign of 
retreat, and the Emperor knew that the day would witness 
a decisive battle. He felt certain of victory, and that the 



254 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

pale sun, which now began to pierce the clouds, would 
witness the destruction of the English ; but his patience 
was sorely tried by having to delay the attack. The rain 
had ceased, but the ground was extremely heavy ; orders, 
however, were given to be ready for the battle at 9 a.m., 
after the soldiers had eaten their soup. 

Authorities. — The present writer has been acquainted with the 
field of Waterloo for more than fifty years, and has read much of the 
literature on the battle. In the present chapter he has mainly followed 
Houssaye. He has had the advantage of reading Professor Oman's 
chapter in the Cambridge Modern History, vol. IX. 



CHAPTER XVII 
WATERLOO 

IN order to carry out his promise of assisting Welling- 
ton, Bliicherhad given orders on the night of June 17, 
to Biilow, to march at daybreak to Chapelle St. 
Lambert, about five miles due east of Mont St Jean, 
and Pirch I, to follow. Biilow, Ziethen and Thielmann, 
were to remain on the left bank of the Dyle. His reason 
for employing Billow was that the troops were fresh, not 
having been engaged at Ligny. But Pirch, who was 
nearer to Chapelle St. Lambert than Billow, ought to 
have moved first instead of waiting for the advance of 
Billow's corps. If this had been done, half the Prussian 
army could have been concentrated at Chapelle St 
Lambert before midday. As it was, Billow's advanced 
guard did not reach Wavre till 7 a.m., and was delayed two 
hours there by a fire ; and his army did not reach Chapelle 
St. Lambert till 3 p.m., Pirch's corps being far behind. 
Bliicher, although severely injured, set out to join him, 
saying, " Notwithstanding that I suffer from my fall, I 
would rather be tied on to my horse than miss the battle." 

Grouchy knew that the Prussians were concentrating s 
on Wavre, but he imagined, for some reason, that they only 
intended to halt there and then to march straight on to 
Brussels, which lay about eighteen miles to the north-west. 
Grouchy had under him 33,000 soldiers and 116 guns. 
Whatever plan he followed, he should have ordered 
Vandamme and Gerard to march soon after daybreak, 

255 



256 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

which on June i8was 2.30 a.m. Instead of this, his orders 
were that Vandamme should start at 6 a.m. and Gerard at 
8 a.m. He did not himself leave Gembloux till between 
8 and 9, and came up with Vandamme at Walhain about 
10 a.m. Here he received false information that the 
Prussians were marching on Louvain. He then wrote to 
Napoleon, saying that he hoped that evening to be con- 
centrated at Wavre, between Wellington and the Prussians. 
He asked for orders as to what he was to do on the 
morrow. The morrow ! Having written this letter, he sat 
down to breakfast, and was eating his strawberries when 
Gerard arrived. It was now 11.30, and the two generals 
went down into the garden, where they distinctly heard 
the sound of cannon. Placing his ears to the ground to 
ascertain the direction, Gerard said, " I think we ought to 
march towards the cannon." The ground shook, and 
clouds of smoke were seen towards the west. A peasant 
said, " They are fighting at Mont St. Jean ; we can be 
there in four or five hours' march." An inhabitant said, 
" It is on the edge of the forest of Soignies, about three 
leagues and a half distant (ten miles). It was really 
twelve or more. Gerard and Valaze said, " We must march 
to the cannon." Grouchy was piqued at this interference 
and alleged the Emperor's orders and the difficulty of the 
roads. The conversation became animated. Gerard said, 
" Monsieur le Marechal, it is your duty to march to the 
cannon." Grouchy replied angrily, " My duty is to execute 
the orders of the Emperor, who orders me to follow the 
Prussians. To obey your advice would be to violate his 
orders." As they were mounting their horses Gerard 
made a last effort, " If you will not march towards the 
forest of Soignies with all your troops, allow me to make 
the movement with my corps and the cavalry of General 
Villers." Grouchy absolutely refused, and galloped away. 

The battle of Waterloo was fought between two heights, 
each rising to the elevation of about 400 feet, running 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 257 

parallel to each other from west to east. They are separated 
by two valleys, traversed by the high road from Charleroi 
to Brussels, the valley of Smohain to the east and that of 
Braine TAlleud to the west. The distance between Belle 
Alliance and Mont St. Jean is about three-quarters of a 
mile as the crow flies. The British position was well 
protected by hedges on a hollow road, with a depth of from 
six to ten feet. There were two outlying natural fortresses, 
that of Hougoumont in front of the British right, and La 
Haye Sainte in front of their centre. Behind their station 
the ground sloped considerably, so that neither their true 
position nor the movement of the troops in their rear could 
be perceived by the enemy, whereas Napoleon's troops were 
all visible to the British. The Nivelles road also passed to 
the west of Hougoumont and joined the Charleroi road at 
Mont St. Jean. The British troops woke at break of day, 
lighted their fires, prepared their breakfast, cleaned their 
uniforms and their arms, and at about 6 a.m. took up their 
position for the battle. The first line was drawn up behind 
the main Ohain road, deep and lined by hedges, the guards 
of Byng and Maitland, then Colin Halkett and Kiel- 
mansegge and Ompteda, reaching from the Nivelles road 
to the Brussels road. On the other side of the road 
followed Kempt, Pack and Picton, the Dutch of Bylandt, 
and the Hanoverians of Best. These nine brigades formed 
the centre, or more properly speaking the front of the 
allied army, for in Wellington's disposition there was no 
centre, but a right and left centre separated by the Brussels 
road, and two wings. The right wing, consisting of the 
English brigade of Adam and Mitchell, of William 
Halkett's Hanoverian brigade and of the German brigade 
of Duplat, was drawn up "en potence." Between the road of 
Nivelles and Merbe Braine, on the extreme right was the 
Dutch-Belgian brigade of Chass<£, in front of Braine TAlleud. 
The left wing consisted of the Nassau brigade of the 
Prince of Saxe Weimar and the Hanoverian brigade of 
s 



258 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Wincke, flanked by the cavalry of Vandeleur and Vivian. 
There were also two lines of reserves, the second being 
close to the village of Mont St. Jean. Behind the centre 
were placed the horse-guards of Somerset and the dragoons 
of Ponsonby, and behind them the Dutch and Belgian 
cavalry of Ghigny. Next to Somerset were the Nassau 
troops of Kruse, and behind them the whole of the Bruns- 
wickers and the Germans of Arenschild. Behind Byng 
and Maitland were Grant and Dornberg, and to the 
left of Ponsonby the English brigade of Lambert. The 
artillery was disposed thus : four batteries on the front of 
the right centre, one exactly at the centre, four in front of 
the left centre, two on the right wing, two on the extreme 
right with Chass6, seven in the second line behind the right 
centre, and three in reserve close to the farm of Mont 
St. Jean. 

Wellington, who experienced in Spain the impetuosity 
of the French attacks, was accustomed to employ special 
tactics to resist them. He placed his first line of infantry 
behind a ridge so that it might be invisible before the 
attack and during the attack itself. Not till the assailants 
had actually gained the summit of the ridge, confused by 
the fire of skirmishers and artillery, did the line of soldiers 
reveal itself, firing point blank at a short distance and 
following up with a bayonet charge. This arrangement 
was used with special effect at Waterloo, as with the excep- 
tion of Bylandt's brigade and a chain of skirmishers all the 
infantry was posted a hundred or two hundred yards behind 
the Ohain road which constituted their front. By these 
means they, as well as the reserves, were completely con- 
cealed from view. Hougoumont was chiefly occupied by 
seven companies of the English guards and other troops ; 
La Haye Sainte by five companies of the German legion, 
the sand-pit on the Brussels road behind La Haye Sainte 
by a battalion of the 95th ; Papelotte, La Haye and Smohain 
by some of Saxe Weimar's troops. Wellington had his 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 259 

principal confidence in his English troops. He had under 
him this day 68,000 men and 156 guns, having left 17,000 
men and four guns at Hal, under the command of Prince 
Frederick of the Netherlands, to protect his right He rode 
that day his favourite horse " Copenhagen " who died at a 
good old age in the paddocks of Strathfieldsaye. He wore 
buckskin breeches, top boots, a dark blue coat, a short 
cloak, a white tie, a little cocked hat without feathers, with 
four cockades, English, Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch. He 
was very calm and confident, being sure of the co-operation 
of the Prussians. 

This was the first occasion on which Napoleon had ever 
come into direct conflict with English troops, and the con- 
fidence which he felt of victory was not shared by those 
of his generals who had had experience of them. He 
breakfasted at the farm of Le Caillou about 8 a.m. with 
Soult, Maret, Drouot, and other officers. The meal was 
served on silver plate with the Imperial arms. He said, 
" The English army is larger than ours, by more than a 
quarter. We, have, however, ninety chances for us, and 
only ten against us." Ney came in from the outposts and 
said, " Doubtless if Wellington were simple enough to wait 
for you ; but I tell you that his retreat is imminent, and that 
if you do not make haste to attack, he will escape you." 
Napoleon replied, "You are mistaken, there is no longer 
time. Wellington would expose himself to certain loss. 
He has thrown the dice, and they are for us." Soult was 
anxious. He did not fear the arrival of the Prussians, for 
he thought them thoroughly beaten, but he deeply re- 
gretted that 30,000 men had been detached under Grouchy, 
and pressed Napoleon to recall them ; but the Emperor 
replied, with temper, " Because you have been beaten 
by Wellington you consider him a good general • but 
I tell you that Wellington is a bad general, that the 
English are bad troops, and that it will be all over before 
dinner." " I hope so," said Soult. Soon afterwards Reille 



26o THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

and Jerome entered the farm. Napoleon asked Reille his 
opinion about the English army, against which he had so 
often fought in Spain. He replied, " Well posted, accord- 
ing to Wellington's usual manner, and attacked in front, I 
consider the English infantry invincible, on account of 
their calm tenacity and the superiority of their fire ; before 
you can charge with the bayonet you will have to wait till 
half the attacking party is killed. But the English army 
is less agile, less supple, and less able to manoeuvre than 
we are : if it cannot be conquered by a direct attack it 
might be by manoeuvring/' Napoleon seemed to be 
irritated by these remarks, and refused to believe them. 

The weather was now becoming clearer, and there was 
a strong drying wind. Napoleon called for his horse, and 
rode forward in front of Belle Alliance. He employed as 
guide a man named De Coster, who was tied upon a 
horse, which was itself attached to the saddle of one of the 
escorts. During the battle De Coster wriggled about to 
escape the balls, and the Emperor said to him, But my 
friend, do not move about so much ; you may be killed by a 
shot just as well behind as before, and it will make a worse 
wound." It is said that he gave false information all day. 
Having remained some time before Belle Alliance Napoleon 
moved to a little hill about a mile to the rear, near the farm 
of Rossomme, where he had chairs placed, and a table, on 
which he could spread his maps. About 2 p.m. he moved 
nearer to Belle Alliance, close to De Coster's house, 
There he walked up and down with his hands behind his 
back, sometimes stopping to lean upon the table. 

When at Le Caillou Jerome told his brother of some- 
thing he had heard the evening before in the hostelry of 
the Roi d'Espagne at Genappe. The waiter who served 
them at supper, and who had attended on the Duke of 
Wellington at breakfast, said that he had heard an English 
aide-de-camp speak of a concerted meeting between the 
English and the Prussians at the entrance of the forest of 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 261 

Soignies. The Emperor made light of it He said, 
" After a battle like that of Fleurus the Prussians cannot 
join the English in less than two days from now ; besides, 
they have Grouchy at their heels." Napoleon now pro- 
ceeded to pass his troops in review. The drums beat and the 
trumpets brayed, the bands played a patriotic air ; as they 
passed the Emperor, the ensigns dipped their colours, the 
cavalry brandished their sabres, the infantry hoisted their 
caps on the top of their bayonets, while cries of " Vive 
l'Empereur!" drowned all other sounds. Never was greater 
enthusiasm displayed than in this last review, when far 
away in the distance was seen the dark red line of the 
English troops. Napoleon had under his command 71,947 
men and 246 guns against the 68,000 soldiers of Welling- 
ton. Never up to that time had so large a number of 
combatants been confined in so small a space : the distance 
from the last reserve of Wellington's to the position of the 
Emperor's baggage was only about two miles and a half, 
and the front of each army did not exceed two miles in 
length. 

The Emperor now dictated the following order to Soult : 
" As soon as the whole army is ranged in order of battle, 
about 1 p.m., when the Emperor shall give the command to 
Marshal Ney, the attack will begin for the purpose of 
gaining possession of the village of Mont St. Jean, where 
the roads intersect. For this purpose the 12-pounders 
belonging to the 2nd and 6th corps will join those of 
the 1st corps. These 24 guns will fire upon the troops at 
Mont St. Jean, and d'Erlon will begin the attack by charg- 
ing with his left division." It is evident from this that the 
Emperor's first plan was simply to pierce the centre of the 
, English at Mont St. Jean. There can be little doubt that 
he underrated the strength of the English army ; he did not 
know how many men were concealed behind the slope, or 
by what outworks the front was protected. As soon as he 
had written this Napoleon prepared for his main assault by 



262 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

directing an attack on Hougoumont, with the object of 
inducing Wellington to weaken his centre. The first shot 
was fired at 11.50 a.m. Protected by artillery fire, Jerome 
Bonaparte advanced towards Hougoumont, having orders 
to remain behind the wood, only sending forward a good 
line of skirmishers. Hougoumont had been strongly 
garrisoned, and the walls were pierced for musketry, so 
that it offered serious resistance. Jerome, contrary to 
orders, persisted in the attack. A few Frenchmen suc- 
ceeded in entering the courtyard, but they were cut down, 
and not one escaped. Wellington only thought it neces- 
sary to despatch four companies of the Coldstreams to 
defend the chateau. Jerome's battalions, taken between 
two fires, were decimated and were forced to retire partly 
into the wood, and partly towards the Nivelles road. 

Whilst this was going on, Napoleon was making prepara- 
tions for his grand attack ; but just at this moment he 
perceived a dark mass now appearing about six miles to 
the north-east, and seeming to issue from the wood of the 
Chapelle St. Lambert. Speculations as to its nature were 
speedily cut short by the arrival of an intercepted letter 
from Billow to Wellington, announcing that his corps had 
reached Chapelle St Lambert. The dark cloud was the 
advance guard of Bulow. At the same time a letter came 
from Grouchy saying that the whole of the Prussian army 
was marching in the direction of Brussels. Upon this 
he sent fresh instructions to Grouchy, ordering him to 
manoeuvre in his direction and to lose no time in attack- 
ing Billow's corps. He was not much put out by this 
news, but said to Soult, "This morning we had ninety 
chances out of a hundred in our favour ; we have now sixty, 
and if Grouchy repairs his errors, we shall gain a still 
more decisive victory, because Bulow's corps will be des- 
troyed. However, he detached some troops to cover his 
right flank and to give support to Grouchy when he 
arrived. 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 263 

It was now about 1.30, when the Emperor gave Ney the 
order to attack. An artillery duel lasted for half an hour. 
Then the four divisions of Allix, Donzelot, Marcognet and 
Durutte advanced in echelon by the left, with five hundred 
yards between them. The assault was led by Ney and 
d'Erlon. The soldiers descended into the valley with cries 
of " Vive TEmpereur!" under the iron rain of English and 
French bullets, which crossed over their heads. Allix 
attacked the farm of La Haye Sainte, which like Hougou- 
mont was strongly defended, and Wellington watched the 
struggle at the foot of a large elm-tree to the west of the 
Brussels road, at the point where it is crossed by the Ohain 
road. He remained there during nearly the whole battle, 
surrounded by his staff and the foreign commissioners. 
He sent a battalion of the German legion to assist Baring 
at La Haye Sainte. At first everything appeared to go 
well for the French, and it was evident that, if they could 
only reach the ridge and hold it long enough for the 
cavalry to come up, the battle would be over. When the 
French artillery opened fire, Wellington had withdrawn 
Picton's division, consisting of the brigades of Kempt and 
Pack, 150 yards from the road. The men were three in 
line, but lying down in the corn in order to avoid the 
cannon-balls. At the critical moment Picton called upon 
his men to rise; they fired at forty paces; the French 
wavered ; Picton cried, " Charge ! Charge ! Hurrah !" and 
drove the French back, but fell in the moment of success, 
pierced by a ball in the temple. In a similar manner the 
third column was repulsed by the Highlanders of Pack. 
At the same instant Somerset's cavalry, consisting of the 
first and second Life Guards, the Blues, and the Royal 
Dragoons, chased the French cuirassiers, and drove the 
brigade of Travers down the valley. Ponsonby's brigade 
also fell upon the columns of Donzelot, the Highlanders 
and the Scots Greys exchanging s*houts of " Scotland for 
ever!" The French troops, much too thickly massed, were 



264 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

slaughtered like sheep ; they lost two eagles, 3000 prisoners, 
and thousands of killed and wounded. The British horse 
now galloped down the valley and up the opposite slope, 
but they were received by the French reserves and re- 
pulsed with considerable loss, the gallant Ponsonby being 
killed by a lancer. Of the 2500 who charged, 1000 were 
left behind. A vigorous struggle was also raging round 
Hougoumont. Three battalions of English guards, a 
battalion of Brunswickers, a battalion of the German 
legion, had reinforced the garrison. The buildings were 
bombarded, as they should have been at first, and were set 
on fire, but the fire was itself a hindrance to the French 
advance ; indeed, the conflict round the chateau was of 
little advantage to either party. Mr. Oman is of opinion 
that Napoleon would have been wise to have broken off 
the battle at this point. 

The object of Wellington was to hold his position until 
the Prussians could come up ; that of Napoleon was to 
finish with the English before he should have to deal with 
Blucher. Wellington had hoped that Blucher would begin 
his attack at 2 p.m. ; it was now 3.30, and the Prussians 
had hardly begun to make their appearance. Napoleon at 
this time received the letter from Grouchy, dated at Wal- 
hain, 11.30, asking for instructions for the following day, 
and this greatly disturbed him. He repeated his orders to 
Grouchy to come up as soon as possible. He now ordered 
Ney to make a second attack upon La Haye Sainte, 
intending to make this farm a rallying place for the 
divisions of d'Erlon and Reille, when he had taken 
Hougoumont, also for the cavalry and the footguards. 
The assault was accomplished by a violent cannonade, the 
like of which had never been heard, even by the oldest 
soldiers. Some of the English first line retired, so as to be 
protected by the slope of the ground, while wounded, and 
prisoners, and empty wagons began to move along the 
Soignies road. Ney, seeing imperfectly through the smoke, 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 265 

thought that the English were retreating, and ordered the 
cavalry to advance, a movement of which it is possible that 
Napoleon was ignorant He got together five thousand 
magnificent horsemen, including the light cavalry of the 
Guard, and forming them in the hollow to the left of the 
Brussels road, he placed himself at their head and charged 
the English army. 

Wellington thought so little of retreating that he 
strengthened his first line by some of his second line and 
reserves. The Brunswickers came to help Maitland, and 
the brigades of Mitchell and Adam crossed the Nivelles 
road to take position north of Hougoumont, in front of 
the Ohain road. At the same time the staff was anxiously 
watching the movement which Napoleon was preparing. 
When they saw the cavalry approach they were greatly 
relieved. They knew how fruitless it would be to charge 
an infantry not yet shaken, which, thanks to the protection 
of the ground, had not suffered from the cannonade. The 
soldiers were formed into squares, the guns were placed 
on the crest, with their horses in the rear, and the gunners 
had orders, if attacked, to leave their pieces and retire into 
the squares. The cavalry rode against the artillery, 
exposed to a murderous fire upon their flank as they 
laboriously mounted the slope. Twenty battalions of the 
allies were formed into squares ; their fire rattled upon the 
cuirasses of the enemy like hail on a slated roof; but no 
efforts of the French cavalry could break the British 
squares. They were at last driven from the plateau by a 
charge of Uxbridge's horse, and the gunners, recovering 
their pieces, turned them with murderous effect against the 
fugitives. 

Once more the brave cavalry of Milhaud and Lefebvre 
Desnouettes, re-forming in the hollow, resumed the charge ; 
once more they laboriously climbed the heights and cap- 
tured the guns. Gould, colonel in the artillery, said to 
Mercer, " I fear all is over." The Emperor, when he at 



266 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

last realized what had occurred, said to Soult that the 
premature attack might lose the battle, that it should have 
been made an hour later ; still, it was necessary to support 
what had been done. He gave orders to Kellermann to 
charge with his heavy brigade, but at this very time he 
was being attacked by the Prussians on his right flank. 

About i p.m. Bliicher had joined the main mass of 
Billow's army at Chapelle St. Lambert. Here he waited 
for information, and reached the wood of Paris about three 
miles from Planchenoit at 4 p.m. Half an hour later he 
determined to advance. The position was defended by 
Lobau, but having only 10,000 men to oppose 30,000 
Prussians, he was compelled to retire just as the direct 
attacks on Mont St. Jean were seen to be a failure. In 
this manner the Prussians became masters of Planchenoit, 
but they were driven out by four regiments of the Young 
Guard. At about 5.30 p.m. more than 60 squadrons of 
cavalry were mounting the slope towards the English 
position; 8000 or 9000 horsemen in a space only large 
enough for 1000 to deploy in. They covered the whole 
ground between Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte, and 
the files were so close that the horses were pushed upwards 
by the pressure. The mass of cuirasses, helmets, and 
sabres resembled a sea of steel. They were met by the 
same tactics as before, abandonment of guns, and forma- 
tion of squares upon which the French produced no effect, 
although some squares were charged as many as thirteen 
times. Ney, after having three horses killed under him, 
stood close to the side of an abandoned battery, striking 
the mouth of an English gun with the flat of his sword. 

At last Wellington, having left the square of the 73rd 
regiment, in which he had taken refuge, urged his cavalry 
once more upon the broken French, and they were driven 
down the slope for the third time. Once more they charged 
again, with Ney at their head, shouting " Vive FEmpereur !", 
a charge as fruitless as those which had preceded it. They 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 267 

crossed the line of guns, threw themselves against the 
rampart of corpses, by which each square was protected, 
and retired of their own accord to the bottom of the 
valley. After these four charges Ney set in motion 6000 
infantry soldiers, which he had not previously used. But 
it was too late ; they were crushed by the English fire. 
Foy, an eye-witness, says that it was " une gr&le de morts." 
In a few moments 1 500 men were killed, wounded, and 
dispersed. In these furious attacks Ney had forgotten his 
principal duty, which was to capture La Haye Sainte. At 
6 p.m. he was ordered by Napoleon, who was crossing the 
battlefield under a hail of balls and bullets, to capture it at 
all hazards. The task was at length achieved, when the 
ammunition of the garrison who held it was exhausted, 
and Baring led back to the presence of his chief only 
forty-two men out of his nine companies. 

The centre of the allies was holding firm, but on the left 
the line was wavering. An aide-de-camp of Alten says, 
" The centre of the line was open ; we were in danger ; at 
any moment the issue of the battle could not be doubtful. 
Wellington became anxious. He saw the Prussians on the 
French flank, but he received no assistance from them. 
He was heard to mutter, " Would that night, or the Prus- 
sians, would come ! " But his resolution held firm. When 
asked for orders he replied, " I have no orders to give, but 
hold out to the last man." Ney saw the opportunity, but 
he had no fresh troops at his disposal. He sent an orderly 
to the Emperor to ask for some infantry, but Napoleon re- 
plied, " Soldiers ! Where do you think I can get them from ? 
Do you wish me to make them ? " It is true that Napoleon 
had at his disposal, at this moment, eight battalions of the 
Old Guard and six of the middle guard, and it is the opinion 
of Kennedy that if he had used them at this juncture, 
the centre of the English line might have been forced. 
But having no reserve of cavalry, he needed them to defend 
his own position. The Prussian artillery were already 



268 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

playing upon the heights of La Belle Alliance. He formed 
eleven battalions of the Guard in squares, and placed them 
fronting Planchenoit along the Brussels road from La Belle 
Alliance to Rossomme. 

It was now about 7.30 p.m., but there were yet two hours 
of daylight, and the sun was shining above Braine PAlleud. 
The cannon of Grouchy was heard towards Limale, about 
seven miles distant. It was natural to suppose that he was 
engaged with the Prussians, and would prevent them from 
effectively helping the English. The Emperor steadily 
reconnoitred the English position through his field-glass, 
and they seemed to him shaken ; he imagined that Wel- 
lington had engaged the whole of his troops, while he 
himself still kept his Old Guard, his invincibles. He gave 
orders to Drouot to advance with nine battalions of the 
Guard, formed into squares, leaving two at Planchenoit and 
three on the ridge. Napoleon placed himself at the head 
of the first square and descended the slope towards 
La Haye Sainte. Some English authorities are of opinion 
that the attack might have succeeded if it had been under- 
taken half an hour earlier ; but the decisive moment was 
now past, and during the recapture of Planchenoit and the 
preparations for the final attack, Wellington had been able 
to strengthen his position. Just at this moment a fresh 
body of Prussians was seen to be approaching the field of 
battle on the English left at Smohain, and the first effect 
of this arrival was to set free the cavalry of Vandeleur and 
Vivian, who were covering that side of the British army. 
Ziethen, whose corps it was, had arrived at Ohain with his 
vanguard at 6 p.m. Here Colonel Fremantle came to 
him, sent by Wellington, and begged him to support his 
chief with 3000 men without delay. Ziethen was unwilling 
to run the risk of having his army beaten in detail, and 
he was not persuaded until Muffling, a Prussian general 
attached to the English army, had enforced the request 
in person. The Prussians were marching over Smohain 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 269 

just as the Guard was descending to La Haye Sainte. 
The troops began to waver at the sight of this new enemy 
appearing in the most critical quarter, but the Emperor 
addressed them, and they moved forward again. The 
arrival of these fresh forces made the defeat of the French 
almost certain ; but it is doubtful whether Napoleon could 
at this moment have broken off the battle, and it was prob- 
ably wiser to make a last supreme effort than to anticipate 
a rout which could hardly be worse if it followed a defeat. 

The effect of Ziethen's arrival was to precipitate the 
Emperor's attack. When six battalions of the Guard had 
reached La Haye Sainte, he placed one of them on a little 
hill half-way between that farm and Hougoumont, and 
entrusted the command of the rest to Ney, ordering him 
to attack the right centre of the English. At the same 
time he commanded the artillery to quicken their fire, and 
the cavalry to support the advance of the Guard. He also 
ordered La Bedoyere and other officers to pass along the 
line and to announce the speedy arrival of Grouchy, a 
pardonable falsehood, if it really was one. The troops 
were encouraged by this news, and reiterated cries of 
" Vive TEmpereur ! " whilst the wounded cheered on the 
columns as they passed. Wellington was informed of this 
final attack by a traitor. A captain of carbineers rode to 
the 52nd regiment with his hand in the air, and cried, 
" Vive le roi ! That brute Napoleon will be with you in half 
an hour with the Guard." Wellington made full prepara- 
tions to meet the attack. Adam and Maitland returned 
to their old positions. The reserve artillery was brought 
up and the gunners were ordered not to reply to French 
cannon, but to concentrate their fire on the columns of 
attack and to resist to their last cartridge. 

The five battalions of the Guard, led by Ney, formed into 
squares, and marched in echelon, with their right foremost, 
an oblique formation which has been blamed by military 
critics. The consequence of this was that they attacked 



270 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

the English line at five different points. At each of these 
points except one, the attack was at the first moment 
successful, although the Guard was soon overpowered by 
the steadiness of their opponents and the deadly artillery 
fire. The third almost reached the ridge without meet- 
ing any infantry, and they were within pistol-shot of the 
Ohain road, when suddenly at the command of Welling- 
ton, " Up guards, and at them ! y \ the guards of Maitland 
stood up in the corn at twenty paces like a red wall. 
The first volley killed three hundred men. The French 
halted. Instead of sending them forward with the bayonet 
the officers tried to re-form them and they stood in con- 
fusion for ten minutes. Wellington then ordered the 
charge. " Forward, boys ! " cried Colonel Saltoun. " Now's 
the time ! " The English troops drove the enemy victori- 
ously down the slope to Hougoumont, the French and 
English being in such confusion that firing became im- 
possible. 

The cry which was raised of " The Guard gives way ! " 
sounded the knell of the Grand Army. The cavalry of the 
Guard who were to support the attack were paralysed. 
There was a shout of " Sauve qui peut ! ", " We are 
betrayed!", and a general rout began. The Prussians 
pressed on the pursuit, and on the east of the great road 
there was the wildest confusion. This was the moment 
for which Wellington had waited so long. He rode to 
the edge of the ridge, took off his hat, and waved it in 
the air. Immediately the whole British line advanced 
just as they happened to stand, passing over dead and 
wounded alike, forty thousand men of all arms and many 
nations, marching to the sound of drums, trumpets, and 
bagpipes in the first shades of the evening twilight. The 
French made no resistance. La Haye Sainte was aban- 
doned, so was Hougoumont and its wood. The cavalry 
of Vivian and Vandeleur cut the fugitives to pieces, with 
cries of " No quarter ! No quarter ! " 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 271 

The Emperor was forming his best troops in columns of 
attack, when he saw his line of battle suddenly collapse. 
He knew that he was irremediably defeated, but he still 
had hope of organizing the retreat, and for this purpose 
X? formed three squares of the Old Guard, placing them 
about a hundred yards from La Haye Sainte; but they 
were not able to make head against the English cavalry. 
Ney was standing near the road, his head bare, his face 
blue with powder, his uniform in tatters, his epaulettes 
cut in two, and the fragment of a, sword in his hand. He 
had done marvels that day, but he could not find the 
death which he was so anxious to meet. The three 
battalions of the Guard retreated step by step. As their 
losses prevented them from forming squares in the three 
lines, they formed triangles in two lines and pressed on 
slowly in the midst of the enemy and their flying country- 
men. Every fifty yards they halted to re-form their ranks 
and repel a new charge of cavalry, or a new attack of 
infantry. In this tedious retreat they marched surrounded 
by the enemy, like some wild animal in the midst of the 
hounds. The English officers called on them to surrender. 
It was then that Cambronne is supposed to have replied, 
"The Guard dies, but does not surrender." What he 
really said was, " Merde ! " Almost the moment after- 
wards he was shot and left for dead. 

The Old Guard, now at the end of its existence, 
signalized itself by a final act of bravery and endeavour. 
The two battalions of the First Grenadiers, commanded 
by General Petit, were posted in squares on either side 
of the wood near the house of De Coster. They were 
the chosen troops of all, " a living and moving fortress," 
as Houssaye calls them ; and with them it might still be 
possible to cover the retreat. The Emperor was seated 
on horseback in the centre of the square of the first 
battalion, and for some time they held their own 
against all attacks. At length they were compelled to 



272 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

give way, and the Emperor rode before them, accom- 
panied by Soult, Drouot, Bertrand, and Lobau. Arriving 
at the farm of Le Caillou, he found that hi^ baggage had 
been sent on to Genappe. 

At 9.15 p.m. when it was already dark, Wellington and 
Bliicher met and saluted each other as conquerors. The 
band of the Prussian cavalry played " God save the King," 
and the foot soldiers of Bulow sang the hymn of Luther, 
" Nun danket alle Gott." It was decided that the pursuit 
should be continued throughout the night. The English 
were worn out with ten hours of fighting, and the 
Prussians had marched fifteen miles over bad roads. 
Nevertheless, Bliicher ordered his cavalry to pursue the 
enemy so long as they had a man or a horse able to last. 
Wellington's troops stood still, and, as the Prussians 
marched past them, saluted them with shouts of " Hip ! 
Hip ! Hurrah ! " From the ridge of Mont St. Jean to the 
heights of Rossomme, from Hougomont to Planchenoit, 
and even to Smohain, the ground was covered with corpses 
and dead horses. More than 25,000 French and 20,000 
allies, English, Belgians, Germans, and Prussians, lay on 
the ground, seen distinctly under a bright moon. In the 
retreat the grenadiers still kept their position, marching at 
their ordinary pace and defying all attacks. At a mile and 
a half from Genappe their general broke them up into 
columns and sections, and the Emperor rode on to 
Genappe in the hope of stopping the enemy and rallying 
the remains of his army. 

Two remarks of Napoleon, made when he witnessed the 
defeat of Waterloo, have been repeated by Flahaut, who 
was present. The first was, " lis sont meles." (" They are 
mixed in confusion.") The second was the utterance of the 
despair of a lifetime : " It has always been the same since 
Cregy." The French character was not strong enough to 
support the edifice, which he might have raised securely 
on the basis of the English character. 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 273 

Bliicher stopped to sleep at the hostelry of the Roi 
d'Espagne, of which we have previously heard. Before he 
went to bed he wrote to his wife: "I have kept my promise ; 
on the 1 6th, I was compelled to retire before a superior 
force, but on the 1 8th, together with my friend Wellington, 
I exterminated the army of Napoleon." He also wrote to 
Knesebeck : " My friend, we have fought the most splendid 
battle, and gained the most brilliant victory. Details will 
follow. I think that the history of Bonaparte is at an end. 
I can write no more, for I tremble in all my limbs : the 
effort was too great." Beyond Genappe the pursuit con- 
tinued. "It was a fox-hunt," said Gneisenau, " a fox-hunt 
by moonlight." Gneisenau halted his troops at an inn 
which bore the sign " A TEmpereur," meaning, of course, 
the Emperor of Austria, a little beyond Frasnes. 

Napoleon arrived at Quatre Bras at 1 a.m. He hoped 
to have found there the division of Gerard, but was dis- 
appointed. He walked to a bivouac of the Guard in the 
wood of Bossu, and stood by the fire, his arms crossed on 
his breast, like a statue, his eyes fixed on Waterloo. He 
sent a despatch to Grouchy, ordering him to retire on the 
lower Sambre. He then tried to discover some un- 
broken regiment, to make a nucleus of resistance. When 
he could not, he wept, with his face pale as wax. At 
length he remounted his horse and rode to Charleroi by 
way of^Gosselies and Lodelinsart, arriving there at 5 a,m. 
After an hour's rest he rode to Philippeville, which he 
reached at 9 a.m. Here he sent orders to Grouchy to 
retreat on Philippeville or Givet. He also wrote two 
letters to Joseph, telling him of his disaster and announc- 
ing his immediate return to Paris. The first was public, to 
be read at the Council of Ministers. The second, which 
was private, ended thus : " Everything is not lost. On 
collecting my forces, the depots, the National Guards, I 
shall have 300,000 men to oppose to the enemy. But 
I need assistance. I hope that the deputies will under- 

T 



274 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

stand their duty, and join me to save France." He then 
dictated the bulletin of Ligny and Mont St. Jean for the 
ministers, and, leaving Soult at Philippeville, drove off to 
Paris. He arrived at Laon at about 6.30 p.m. on the 
evening of June 20. He was seen in the courtyard of the 
hotel walking up and down, his head bowed, his arms 
crossed on his breast. After four hours' stay he left for 
Paris. It has been said that Napoleon abandoned his 
army, as in Egypt and in Russia. But he had no army ; 
of Grouchy he knew nothing, and could not assist him. 
Of the 74,000 who fought at Waterloo perhaps 40,000 
were safe and sound over the Sambre; but more than 
three-fourths of these men were still dispersed between 
Cambrai and Rocroi, travelling along the roads separately 
or in little groups, bivouacking in woods, staying with 
peasants. On June 20, when Napoleon left Laon for Paris, 
he had 2600 soldiers at Philippeville, and about 6000 at 
Avesnes. This was everything that could be called an 
army. 

We must now follow the fortunes of Grouchy. From 
Walhain, where we left him, he marched by Nil St. Vincent 
and Dion le Mont towards Wavre. At about 3.30 in the 
afternoon he received the despatch of the Emperor, dated 
Le Caillou, 10 a.m., of which we have already spoken. 
The despatch seemed to confirm him in his march towards 
Wavre, although he knew that a great battle was proceed- 
ing on the edge of the forest of Soignies. At length he 
arrived at Wavre, which was held by Thielmann, and he 
spent great efforts in trying to gain possession of that 
little town. At about 5 p.m. he received the despatch 
which Soult had sent from the field of battle at 1.30 p.m. 
It ended with these words : " At this moment the battle 
is engaged on the line of Waterloo, in front of the forest 
of Soignies. We think that we see Bulow on the heights 
of St. Lambert. Do not lose a moment in coming to us and 
crushing Billow." The despatch was written in pencil, and 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 275 

was difficult to read. Grouchy misunderstood it, and read 
"la bataille est gagne'e " instead of "la bataille est engagee" 
He was mad with joy, but he might have reflected that 
if the battle was won at 1.30 p.m. the cannon would not 
be firing at 5 p.m. Leaving Vandamme to complete the 
capture of Wavre, Grouchy proceeded to Limale, which 
he reached at nightfall. The road was now open to Mont 
St. Jean, which was about eight miles distant; but he could 
no longer hear the cannon of the Emperor. 

The French now bivouacked in squares quite close to 
the enemy, who occupied the wood of Rixensart. At 
11.30 p.m. Grouchy wrote to Vandamme to march to 
Limale. He still believed that Napoleon had won the 
battle, and counted on reaching Brussels the next morning. 
At daybreak he had an engagement with Thielmann, and 
was left in possession of the field of battle, and was pre- 
paring to march on Brussels at 10.30 a.m. when a staff- 
officer approached him, who gave an account of the disaster 
of Waterloo in such an incoherent manner that Grouchy 
thought he must have to do with a madman or a drunkard. 
Grouchy at last comprehended how terribly he had been 
deceived, and took steps to save what could be saved of 
the army. 

He called his officers together, and announced the terrible 
news with tears in his eyes. He excused himself for his 
conduct of the day before, saying that the Emperor had 
especially charged him to march on Wavre. Vandamme 
advised the bold course of marching on Brussels, setting 
free the prisoners, and regaining the frontier at Valen- 
ciennes or Lille by Enghien or Ath. Vandamme thought 
that on this side they would meet with little resistance. 
Grouchy preferred to retreat by Namur, Dinant, and Givet, 
and he was right. It was necessary to make haste in 
order to escape Thielmann and possibly Blucher. The 
retreat began at 11.30, Exelmans galloped on to Namur, 
where he arrived at 4 p.m. The main body of the army 



276 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

bivouacked for the night at Temploux, about six miles 
beyond Gembloux. Pajol formed the rear-guard and pro- 
tected the retreat. The operation was effected without 
firing a shot. Next day Grouchy was placed in consider- 
able danger by the precipitancy of Vandamme, who with- 
drew his troops from Namur too soon. The inhabitants 
of that town treated the French with great generosity, but 
it was necessary to defend the fortress against the attacks 
of the Prussians whilst Grouchy's main army reached 
Dinant. The following day, June 21, the French frontier 
was passed, and by the evening the whole of the army 
was collected in safety under the guns of Givet. Colonel 
Chesney calls this march "one of the most astonishing 
retreats of modern military history." It certainly does 
great credit to Grouchy. He did not despair when all 
hope seemed lost, and he acted with decision and rapidity, 
and saved his army. 

Note. — In any account of Waterloo the conversation of Creevy with 
Wellington on the morning of June 19 should not be omitted. 

"The first thing I did, of course, was to put out my hand and con- 
gratulate him upon his victory. He made a variety of observations 
in his short, natural, blunt way, but with the greatest gravity all the 
time, and without the least approach to anything like triumph or joy. 
4 It has been a damned serious business/ he said. ' Bliicher and I 
have lost 30,000 men. It has been a damned nice thing — the nearest- 
run thing yoiKever saw in your life. Bliicher lost 14,000 on Friday 
night, and got so damnably licked I could not find him on Saturday 
morning ; so I was obliged to fall back to keep up my communications 
with him.' Then, as we walked about, he praised greatly those Guards 
who had kept the farm against the repeated attacks of the French ; 
and then he praised all our troops, uttering repeated expressions of 
astonishment at our men's courage. He repeated so often its being 
so nice a thing — so nearly run a thing, that I asked him if the French 
had fought better than he had ever seen them do before. 'No,' he said, 
4 they have always fought the same since I first saw them at Vimeira. 
Then he said : * By God ! I don't think it would have done if I had 



CHAPTER XVIII 
THE ABDICATION 

NAPOLEON reached the Elysee at eight 
o'clock on the morning of June 21. He was 
accompanied by Bertrand, and his aides- 
de-camp, Corbineau, Gourgaud, and La 
Bedoyere. Caulaincourt, his censor in prosperity, his friend 
in adversity, received him as he got out of the carriage. 
He seemed sinking under grief and fatigue. His chest 
was labouring, his respiration difficult, his face was as pale 
as wax, his eyes had lost their fire. After a painful sigh, 
he said, "The army performed prodigies, a panic-terror 
seized it, all was lost. Ney conducted himself like a mad- 
man ; he got my cavalry massacred for me. I can say no 
more. I must have two hours' rest to enable me to set 
about business. I am choking here/' and he laid his hand 
upon his heart. He gave orders for a bath to be prepared 
for him, and after a few moments' silence continued, 
" Three times victory escaped my grasp. I should have 
surprised the enemy if it had not been for treachery ; I 
should have crushed them at Ligny if the right had done 
its duty ; at Mont St. Jean if the left had done theirs. But 
all is not lost. I will assemble the two Chambers in an 
Imperial sitting. I will describe to them the misfortunes 
of the army. I will demand from them the means of 
saving their country. After that I will set out again." 

" Sire," answered the Duke de Vicence, " the news of 
your disaster has already transpired. Men's minds are in 

277 



27% THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

great agitation. The feelings of the deputies appear more 
hostile than ever, and it is my duty to say that it is to be 
feared that the Chamber will not act according to your 
expectations. I am sorry, sire, to see you in Paris. It 
would have been better for you not to have separated from 
your army. That constitutes your strength, your safety." 
" I have no longer an army," replied the Emperor. " I 
have nothing but fugitives. I shall find men, but how are 
they to be armed? I have no muskets left. However, 
with unanimity, everything may be repaired. I hope the 
deputies will second me, that they will feel the responsi- 
bility that will rest upon them. I think you have formed a 
wrong judgment of their spirit. The majority is good. It is 
French. I have against me only Lafayette, Lanjuinais, and 
a few others. These would fain have nothing to do with 
me, I know. I am a restraint upon them. They would 
work for themselves. I will not allow them. My presence 
here will control them." He then went to his bath. 
Davout entered. He lifted up his arms and let them fall 
on the water, splashing the marshal's uniform. Davout 
strongly advised him to prorogue the Chambers, who would 
spoil everything. At this moment Joseph and Lucien 
arrived. They confirmed Caulaincourt's opinion about the 
disposition of the Chamber, and advised the Emperor to put 
off the calling of an Imperial session, and to allow his 
ministers to act first. While the Emperor was in the bath, 
the ministers and great officers of the state hastened to the 
Elysee, and eagerly questioned the officers who were return- 
ing from the battlefield. The general idea was that it was ail 
over with Napoleon, and that he had no other means of 
saving France except by abdication. When the Emperor 
had recovered from his fatigue, he assembled his Council. 
There were present besides Joseph and Lucien, Bassano, 
Cambaceres,Caulaincourt, Carnot, Gaudin, Mollien, Davout, 
Decres, Fouche, and five others. He began with a 
statement of the situation. " Our misfortunes are great. 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 279 

I am come to repair them, to impress on the nation, on 
the army, a great and noble devotion. If the nation wakes 
up, the enemy will be crushed. To save the country it is 
necessary that I should be invested with great power, and 
with a temporary dictatorship." The ministers hung down 
their heads, and made no answer. Carnot advised to 
declare the country in danger, to call the National Guards 
to arms, to place Paris in a state of siege, and to defend 
it, even if it were necessary to retire behind the Loire. 
Caulaincourt was of opinion that the nation must make a 
grand effort to preserve its independence. Davout urged 
strongly the policy of proroguing the Chambers, which 
was strictly legal, saying that in a time of crisis it was 
fatal to have two powers in the government. FoucheVfull 
of his treacherous designs, said that the Chambers might 
be induced to join with the Emperor, and that Paris was 
very quiet, but Decres believed that to be impossible. 
Regnault went so far as to suggest that if the Emperor 
did not abdicate of his own accord, the Chamber would 
ask for his abdication. 

Lucien, Prince of Canino, who had been for a long time 
on bad terms with his brother, showed an heroic front at 
this crisis. He said that if the Chambers would not join 
the Emperor in saving France, he must save it by himself. 
He must declare himself dictator, place France in a state 
of siege, and call to his defence all patriots and all good 
Frenchmen. Carnot, speaking again, agreed with this 
advice, and said that the Emperor should be invested with 
a great and imposing authority. The Emperor then said, 
" I hope that the presence of the enemy in the territory of 
France will recall the deputies to a feeling of their duty. 
The nation elected them, not to overthrow me, but to sup- 
port me. I am not afraid of them ; whatever they may do, 
I am the idol of the nation and of the army. If I said a 
word they would be destroyed. But if we quarrel we shall 
perish like the Lower Empire of Rome." He then pro- 



28o THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

ceeded to sketch the military resources of France. " She 
has more potential military strength than any nation in the 
world, and the Chamber talks of my abdicating! If I 
abdicate, you will have no army. I am not the pretext of 
war as they declare. France is the object of their attack. 
You might have opposed me when I landed at Cannes, but 
now that I am a part of that which the enemy is attacking, 
I am part of that which France ought to defend. If I am 
deposed, it is not for love of liberty, but from fear." 
Fouche was terrified at the effect of the speech. He said 
to a friend, " Ah ! he made me afraid this morning ; while 
I listened to him, I thought that he was going to begin 
over again. But happily that is impossible." 

The Emperor was engaged in sketching the manner in 
which he proposed to meet the danger, when the Council 
was interrupted by a message from the Chamber, to the 
following effect. The independence of the nation was 
threatened, the Chamber declared itself in a state of per- 
manence ; any attempt to dissolve it would be a crime of 
high treason ; whoever should be guilty of such an attempt 
should be considered a traitor to his country, and immedi- 
ately condemned as such. The Ministers of War, of 
Foreign Affairs, and of the Interior were summoned to 
repair immediately to the Assembly. These resolutions 
had been passed on the proposal of Lafayette. They 
were an infringement of the constitution, a usurpation 
of sovereign authority. The Emperor said, " I was 
right in thinking that I ought to have dismissed those 
fellows before I departed. They are on the point of 
ruining France." He might have gone at once to the 
Chambers and dissolved them, but his spirit was broken. 
As the sitting broke up, he said, " I see Regnault did not 
deceive me. If it must be so, I will abdicate." These 
last words were most unfortunate, as they strengthened the 
enemies of Napoleon, and gave them hopes. He sent 
Regnault to the Chamber of Deputies and Carnot to the 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 281 

Peers, and at the same time he ordered his ministers to 
remain. But at six o'clock in the evening they were 
summoned to the Chamber, with Lucien at their head. 
We need not follow the debate in the House, and the 
noble conduct of Lucien in the defence of his brother. 
When Lucien returned to the Elysee, he told Napoleon 
that it was impossible to control the Chamber, and that 
there was no alternative between dissolving it immediately, 
or submitting to an abdication. Caulaincourt and Maret 
suggested to Napoleon that he must submit, that if he 
hesitated the Chamber would undoubtedly depose him, 
and that he might not have it in his power to abdicate in 
favour of his son. Napoleon's only remark was, " They 
dare not" Lucien was horrified at his brother's indecision. 
He said, " He hesitates ! He temporises ! He is lost ! 
The smoke of the batteries of Mont St. Jean has got into 
his head." So ended the day of June 21. 

At eleven at night the Committees of the Chambers, the 
ministers, and the delegates of the Chamber, met in the 
presence of Lucien. It was decided, by sixteen to five, to 
negotiate with the allied Powers, but to continue resistance. 
Lafayette clamoured for the abdication of the Emperor, 
but Lucien declared that, while the Emperor was ready to 
make any sacrifice, the time for this desperate measure 
had not yet arrived. They at length broke up from weari- 
ness at three o'clock in the morning. During the night 
Lucien again tried to force his brother to adopt strong 
measures. He urged him to go to the Tuileries, to collect 
all the troops on which he could lay his hands, to call 
together the ministers and the Council of State, and to 
prorogue the Chambers, who might protest, but would not 
resist. The Emperor would decide nothing. He listened 
with a distracted air, sometimes sitting, sometimes stand- 
ing or walking about. He criticized the opinions of others 
without pronouncing his own, but in this way he lost a 
great deal of authority. 



282 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

On the following morning, June 22, the Chambers met at 
9.30 a.m., and anxiously awaited a message from the 
Emperor. Regnault told his sovereign, " The Chamber 
seems inclined to pronounce his deposition if he does not 
abdicate immediately." The Emperor said indignantly, 
"Since this is the case, I will not abdicate. The 
Chamber is composed of Jacobins, fanatics, and ambitious 
men, who thirst after place and disorder. I ought to have 
denounced them to the nation, and expelled them." It 
was not until the afternoon that the Chamber received a 
message that " a reply might be expected in a few hours." 
For this they could not wait. A member moved " That the 
Emperor should be requested, in the name of the safety of the 
State, to announce his abdication." And another member 
proposed to send a deputation to him "to express the 
urgency of a decision." Lafayette exclaimed " that if 
Napoleon did not decide, he would move his abdication," 
and a crowd of members insisted that Napoleon should be 
compelled to abdicate immediately. But at length it was 
agreed that, in order to save the honour of the head of the 
State, an hour's grace should be given, and the sitting was 
suspended. Accounts of what was passing were being 
continually received at the Elysee. At length Lucien 
himself gave way, and Joseph supported his advice, but 
the Emperor was the last to yield. At last, in a solemn 
tone of voice he said to his brother, " Prince Lucien, write." 
Then turning to Fouche he added ironically, "Write to 
those gentlemen to make themselves easy. They shall 
soon be satisfied." Lucien took up a pen, but after the 
first words dictated by the Emperor, he dashed his pen 
upon the table, leapt up and walked to the door. The 
Emperor commanded him to remain, and in a silence which 
was only broken by the shouts of the crowd in the Champs 
Elysees, crying, "Vive TEmpereur!" he wrote at his 
brother's dictation the following declaration : — 

" In commencing a war to maintain the independence of 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 283 

the nation, I reckoned on the joint efforts of all, the 
unanimity of all, and the concurrence of all the national 
authorities. From these I had reason to hope for success. 
Circumstances are now changed. I offer myself up as a 
sacrifice to the hatred of the enemies of France. May 
they prove themselves sincere in their declaration, and 
show that they really aim at me personally alone ! Unite, 
all of you, for the public safety, so that you may remain an 
independent nation." On the observation that he had left 
his throne to the Bourbons, he added these words : " I 
proclaim my son, under the name of Napoleon II, Emperor 
of the French. The princes Joseph and Lucien will form 
personally the Council of Government. The interest 
which I feel in my son induces me to ask the Chamber to 
organize without delay the regency, by a law." At the 
suggestion of Carnot he obliterated the names of Joseph 
and Lucien. Fleury de Chaboulon made two copies of 
the document. Napoleon, on signing them, saw that 
Fleury had dropped a tear on the paper. He thanked 
him by a priceless smile. 

When the deputies had received the abdication, they 
sent to thank Napoleon for what he had done, and he 
replied in these words : " I thank you for the sentiments 
you express towards me. I desire that my abdication may 
procure the happiness of France, but I have no expectation 
of it. It leaves the State without a head, without political 
existence. The time wasted in overturning the monarchy 
might have been employed in putting France in a condi- 
tion to crush the enemy. I recommend the Chamber 
speedily to reinforce the armies. Whoever is desirous of 
peace ought to prepare for war. Do not leave this great 
nation at the mercy of foreigners. Be on your guard 
against being deceived by your hopes. There lies the 
danger. In whatever situation I may find myself, I shall 
always be at ease, if France be happy. I commend my 
son to France. I hope it will not forget that I abdicated 



284 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

only for him. I have made this great sacrifice also for the 
nation. It is only with my dynasty that it can expect to 
be free, happy and independent." At this answer all pre- 
sent were deeply affected, and Lanjuinais could not refrain 
from tears. 

On the morning of June 23, Fouche was elected President 
of the Commission of Regency. Before this he had liber- 
ated Vitrolles from prison and negotiated with him about 
the restoration of Louis XVIII. Shortly after this, a half- 
hearted motion was passed by the Chamber proclaiming 
Napoleon II, but leaving the door open both for the Duke 
of Orleans and for Louis XVI 1 1. At the Elysee Napoleon's 
first idea was to seek the hospitality of England, but at the 
representations of Queen Hortense, Maret and Flahaut he 
determined to go to America. Bertrand, Savary, Meneval, 
Montholon, and Las Cases, were ready to accompany him. 
He knew that two frigates, the Saale and the Meduse, were 
ready for sailing at Rochefort, and in the evening he wrote 
to Decres, the Minister of Marine, asking that these might 
be placed at his disposition. Decres said that he must 
refer the matter to the commission of government. Fouche 
was not the man to give this permission without considera- 
tion. Napoleon had intended to stay at the Elysee until he 
left for Rochefort, but Fouche was equally unwilling that 
the Emperor should set sail or that he should stay in Paris. 
The popular demonstrations in favour of Napoleon con- 
tinued and indeed increased in violence. Crowds of men 
marched along the streets crying " Vive Napoleon 1 1 ! 
Vive PEmpereur ! Death to the royalists ! Arms ! Arms ! " 
Napoleon would not support these movements. To a 
deputation which entered the court of the Elysee and 
demanded arms for the defence of the Emperor, he said, 
" You shall have arms, but you must use them against the 
enemy." As he was walking in the garden, a young man 
jumped across the ha-ha and threw himself at his feet, 
begging him to place himself at the head of the army. 



'**u, ' 









filiiillpi 




Ipf^ : 1^" 






1 -<;>.• ;*>-:'-- L '*. :<■* 



yj§j|P 




5z> Thomas Lawrei 



, P.R.A., pmxW\ \,W. Bromley, A. E.R.A., fecit 

THE DUKE OF KEICHSTADT 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 285 

The Emperor treated him with tenderness, pinched his ear, 
and ordered him to rejoin his regiment. Fouche gave 
money to the mob to bribe them not to shout "Vive 
l'Empereur ! " They pocketed the money and shouted all 
the louder. Fouche sent Davout to Napoleon to beg him 
to retire from the Elysee. Davout wrote of this meeting, 
" the interview had been cold, the parting was colder still," 
Napoleon said to him, referring to the shouts beyond the 
garden, "You hear their cries! If I place myself at the 
head of the people, who know by instinct the true necessi- 
ties of the country, I should soon have done with all those 
men, who never dared to oppose me until they saw that I 
was without defence. They want me to go. This will not 
cost more than the rest." At dinner Napoleon said to 
Queen Hortense, " I wish to go to Malmaison. It belongs 
to you. Will you give me hospitality?" The queen left 
that evening to prepare the house for his reception. 
Fouche tried to frighten him. At night he doubled the 
guard of the palace. Early the next morning he was 
visited by Carnot, who found him burning papers which 
might compromise the writers. The interview was very 
cordial. Carnot said, " Do not go to England ; you have 
irritated them too much against you ; you will be insulted 
by the boxers. Go to America." Orders had been given 
to leave at midday. When the carriage, with its six horses, 
aides-de-camp and escort appeared, a crowd gathered in 
the street, shouting, " Vive l'Empereur ! Vive l'Empereur ! 
Do not abandon us." Napoleon left by the garden gate, 
where he found a simple carriage belonging to Bertrand, 
and did not enter his coach till it had passed the barrier of 
Chaillot. 

Fouche* heard of this departure as he was presiding at 
the commission of government. He was not satisfied, 
and sent General Beker to command Napoleon's guard at 
Malmaison. Beker begged Davout to excuse him, but he 
could effect nothing. His orders ran as follows: "The 



286 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

honour of France commands that we should watch over 
the safety of the Emperor Napoleon : the interests of the 
country require that we should prevent ill-disposed persons 
from using his name to cause disturbance." Napoleon was 
at once a prisoner and a hostage. 

At the Malmaison Napoleon was accompanied by 
Bertrand, Gourgaud, Montholon, and Las Cases. The 
garrison was composed of 300 grenadiers and chasseurs 
of the Old Guard at Rueil, and by a picquet of the 
dragoons of the Guard. He received a number of visitors, 
Joseph, Lucien, Jerome, Maret, Lavalette, Savary, La 
Bedoyere, and others, not least important the banker 
Jacques Lafitte, who had the administration of his private 
fortune. To him he said, " The Powers are not making 
war, exactly, against me, but against the Revolution. They 
have always regarded me as the representative, the man 
of the Revolution." 

Soon after his arrival he addressed a farewell to the 
army : " Soldiers, I will follow your steps, although absent. 
I know all your regiments, and none of them will gain 
a signal advantage over the enemy without my doing 
justice to the courage it has shown. You and I, we have 
both been calumniated. Men unworthy of appreciating 
your labours have seen in the signs of attachment which 
you have given me a zeal of which I alone was the object. 
May your future successes teach them that you served 
your country above everything else in obeying me. Save 
the honour, the independence of the French. Napoleon 
will recognize you by the blows which you inflict." This 
stirring and patriotic appeal was signed Napoleon i er . It 
was sent to Fouche, who put it away in a drawer, and con- 
veniently forgot it. 

In the evening Beker arrived. Napoleon knew perfectly 
well with what object he had been sent. He received him 
with dignity, and said, " I regard this act as an affair of 
form, and not a measure of precaution. It was useless to 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 287 

subject me to it, because I have no intention of breaking 
my engagements." He then softened towards him and 
said that he could not have chosen a better officer for the 
post than Beker. Some of his remarks made at this time 
are interesting. " How could I depend upon a nation who 
are placed at the discretion of the enemy by the loss of a 
single battle? " " If I had been chosen by the English as 
I have been chosen by the French, I might have lost the 
battle of Waterloo without losing a single vote in Parlia- 
ment." His conversation with Beker lasted all through 
the night, to the early hours of the morning. Everything 
at Malmaison reminded him of his life there with Josephine, 
of the brilliant days of the Consulate. Walking in the 
park with Queen Hortense, and standing before a cluster 
of rose trees in full bloom, he said, " Poor Josephine, I 
cannot accustom myself to live here without her. I seem 
always to see her, coming out of an alley and plucking 
one of the flowers which she loved so well. She was the 
most graceful woman I have ever known" 

Napoleon had asked for a passport to embark at Roche- 
fort for America on June 23, 24, or 25. Fouche trans- 
mitted the request to Wellington. On that day Wellington 
wrote to Charles Stewart: "You will have heard of our 
great victory of the 18th, which appears to have settled 
Bony " ; and on the following day at 10 p.m. he replied to 
the French Commissioners that " he did not consider the 
abdication of Napoleon Buonaparte of his usurped autho- 
rity, under all the circumstances which have preceded and 
attended that measure, as the attainment of the object 
held up in the declarations and treaties of the allies, which 
should induce them to lay down their arms." On June 26 
the provisional government agreed that the two frigates at 
Rochefort should be got ready for the transport of the 
Emperor, that he should have an escort under General 
Beker as far as that port, but that the frigates should not 
set sail till the passport had arrived. Fouche" probably 



288 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

thought that this arrangement would have the double 
advantage of removing Napoleon from Paris and keeping 
him prisoner at Rochefort. Napoleon saw the trap, and 
refused to go to Rochefort unless he were allowed to sail 
as soon as he arrived there. He asked Savary and Laval- 
ette to obtain this for him. Lavalette found Decres in 
bed, who advised him to speak to Fouch6 and bade him 
" Good night." Savary met Fouche, and received from 
him a promise that the permission should be given the 
next morning. This promise was kept on the morning of 
June 27. Decres was authorized to inform Napoleon that 
the ships might leave as soon as he arrived at Rochefort, 
but in the afternoon this was revoked, and Fouche in- 
formed Decres that the ships must wait in the roadstead 
until the passport arrived. This was due to a letter re- 
ceived from the French commissioners at Laon, which 
reported, on the authority of Bliicher's aides-de-camp, that 
the allies would not make peace unless the person of 
Napoleon was secured. Indeed, on June 28 Wellington 
wrote to the commissioners : " The Field Marshal has no 
authority from his Government or from the allies to give 
any answer to the demands of a passport and assurance of 
safety for Napoleon Buonaparte or his family to pass to 
the United States of America." On the same day Wel- 
lington wrote to Stewart : " General Sebastiani has been 
here this day to negotiate for Napoleon's passing to 
America, to which proposition I have answered that I 
have no authority. The Prussians think the Jacobins wish 
to give him over to me, believing that I will save his life. 
Blucher wishes to kill him, but I have told him that I 
shall remonstrate, and shall insist upon his being disposed 
of by common accord. I have likewise said that, as a 
great friend, I advised him to have nothing to do with so 
foul a transaction ; that he and I had acted too dis- 
tinguished parts in these transactions to become execu- 
tioners ; and that I was determined that if the sovereigns 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 289 

wished to put him to death, they should appoint an execu- 
tioner who should not be me." Castlereagh also wrote to 
Otto : " I am commanded to inform you that the English 
Government does not consider that it can allow itself to 
grant passports to Napoleon Buonaparte." 

There can be no doubt that the allied Powers were 
clearly contemplating the capture and imprisonment of 
Napoleon, or worse. On June 22 Metternich wrote to his 
daughter : " They have caught Napoleon's hat ; let us hope 
that we shall end by capturing the man himself." On 
July 1 the commissioners of Austria, Russia, and Prussia 
signed a declaration which said : " The three sovereigns 
consider it is a condition preliminary and essential to any 
peace and to a real state of rest that Napoleon Buonaparte 
should be rendered incapable of henceforth disturbing the 
tranquillity of France and of Europe, after what has hap- 
pened." The opinions of Lord Liverpool on this subject 
are so dishonourable to an English Prime Minister as to 
be scarcely credible. He writes to Lord Castlereagh on 
July 7 : " I conclude the Emperor and King will come to 
Paris as soon as they hear of the capitulation. By that 
time we shall be able to form some judgment of the prob- 
able fate of Buonaparte. If he sails from either Rochefort 
or Cherbourg, we have a good chance of laying hold of 
him. If we take him we shall keep him on board ship till 
the opinion of the allies has been taken. The most easy 
manner would be to deliver him up to the King of France, 
who might try him as a rebel ; but then we must be quite 
certain that he would be tried in such a manner as to have 
no chance of escape. Indeed, nothing could really be 
necessary except the identification of his person. I have 
had some conversation with the civilians [presumably the 
law officers of the Crown], and they are of opinion that 
this would in all respects be the least objectionable course. 
We should have a right to consider him a French prisoner, 
and as such to give him up to the French Government. 
u 



290 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

They think likewise that the King of France would have a 
clear right to consider him as a rebel and to deal with him 
accordingly." Bliicher wrote to his wife that he desired 
that Napoleon should be executed before the heads of the 
columns of the Prussian army, "to render service to 
humanity." We learn from a letter of Wellington to Lord 
Bathurst that the French commissioners said that they 
had every reason to believe that Napoleon had left Paris, 
and if he had not, various schemes were proposed in order 
to get rid of him, of which one was to send him to Eng- 
land, and the other to hand him over to his father-in-law, 
the Emperor of Austria. 

On June 27, Fouche wrote to Davout that it was neces- 
sary that Napoleon should leave Malmaison and go to 
Rochefort. For this purpose, and to prevent his escape, 
additional troops were to be sent there. Davout wrote a 
corresponding despatch to Beker. On the other hand, 
Napoleon determined to remain at Malmaison, because 
he would be a prisoner at Rochefort, it being certain 
that the passport would be refused. "I am resolved to 
receive my sentence here. I shall remain here until 
Wellington has determined what my fate is to be." When 
they represented to him the danger of delay, he replied, 
" What have I to fear ? I am under the protection of 
French honour," He said, however, to Queen Hortense, 
" I have nothing to fear here ; but you, my daughter, go 
away and leave me." On the morning of June 28 Napo- 
leon sent Flahaut to the commisssioners of government 
to ask that the frigates might set sail without waiting for 
the passports, and that if this were not done, the Emperor 
would not leave the Malmaison. Davout, leaning up 
against the fireplace, said to him, " Return to the Emperor 
and tell him to go, his presence embarrasses me ; he is an 
obstacle to every arrangement; the safety of the country 
demands his departure. Let him leave at once. If not, 
we shall be compelled to arrest him. I will arrest him 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 291 

myself." Flahaut looked at him with stern dignity, and 
replied, " Marshal, only he who gives this order can be the 
bearer of it. I will have nothing to do with it If I 
must resign my commission for disobeying you, I resign 
it." When Flahaut reluctantly reported this conversation 
to Napoleon, the Emperor said, " Well, let him come ! " 
Napoleon began to make arrangements for his departure, 
and confided considerable sums of money to the banker 
Lafitte. 

On this same Wednesday his mother and Cardinal 
Fesch came to visit him, as well as the Countess Walew- 
ska, all in tears ; also Joseph, Maret, Savary, La Bedoyere, 
Talma, and the traitor Corvisart, who brought him some 
poison to use in case of need. When alone he buried himself 
in the American journeys of Alexander von Humboldt. He 
contemplated exploring the whole of both Americas, from 
Canada to Cape Horn. Just then the sound of cannon 
was heard. He spread out his maps and worked out the 
positions of the French and the Prussians with coloured 
pins. Towards evening he learned that the Prussians 
were approaching. The bridges across the Seine were 
destroyed. This alone prevented Bllicher from seizing 
the person of Napoleon, which would probably have meant 
death. The French government also feared lest Napoleon 
should place himself at the head of the army, or should 
be clamoured for by them. Therefore at 9 p.m. on the 
same day he wrote to Decres that the frigates were placed 
at his disposal, and that there was now no obstacle to his 
departure. Decres reached the Malmaison on Thursday, 
at daybreak. The Emperor received him in his dressing- 
gown, while he communicated the order of Fouche. He 
urged him to leave as soon as possible, and Napoleon 
promised to depart during the day. 

At 9 a.m. Napoleon held a conference with Maret, 
Lavalette, Joseph, and Flahaut, and announced his depar- 
ture. Lavalette informed him that the remains of his 



292 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

defeated army, Drouet d'Erlon, Reille, Labare, Grouchy, 
and Vandamme, were returning to Paris, and that a conflict 
with the Prussians was imminent. At the same time he 
heard from the high road, loud cries of " Vive TEmpereur." 
He examined his maps, raised his hand and said with 
gleaming eyes, " France must not be subdued by a handful 
of Prussians. I can stop the enemy, give the government 
time to negotiate with the Powers, and then go to America 
to accomplish my destiny." He went up to his bedroom 
by a secret staircase, and came back dressed in uniform. 
He besought Beker to go to the commission of govern- 
ment to offer his services, not as Emperor, but as general, 
with the solemn promise that he would leave for America 
the very day when he repulsed the enemy. Beker under- 
took the commission and with difficulty reached the 
Tuileries. But Fouche cried out in anger, " Is he laughing 
at us ? We know how he would keep his promise ! How 
did you dare to leave the Emperor? Go back and tell 
him that his offer cannot be accepted. All hope of negotia- 
tion would be at an end. He must leave at once for Roche- 
fort." Carnot was half inclined to accept, but he was 
dominated by Fouche. On his return he found everything 
prepared for action. The Emperor was in his study. 
When he heard of the refusal he said, " These people do 
not understand public opinion. They will repent of having 
refused my offer. Did you not repeat to them my message 
and my oath ? " " Yes, sire." " Then nothing remains 
but to go away. Give the orders, and when everything is 
ready, let me know/' He said to Hortense, " They are still 
afraid of me. I wished to make a last effort for the salva- 
tion of France, but they would not have it." 

The Emperor went up to his bedroom, took off his uni- 
form and sword and put on a brown coat and a round hat. 
He opened the door of the room in which Josephine had 
died, and remained there alone for some time. He bade 
a last adieu to Joseph and to Hortense, who gave him a 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 293 

diamond necklace worth ^8000, which she sewed up in his 
belt. He took an affecting leave of his weeping officers. 
The Imperial carriages came into the courtyard. A yellow 
chaise with four horses stood at the postern of the park. 
A little before five o'clock Napoleon kissed Hortense for 
the last time, went into the garden, and reached the postern 
gate. He jumped into the carriage. Bertrand sat by his 
side, Savary and Beker opposite to him. The horses set 
off at a good pace, but not a word was spoken till they 
reached Rambouillet. 

Authorities. — The first draft of this chapter was written before 
Houssaye's fourth volume appeared, but it has been carefully studied. 
The history of Napoleon between Waterloo and St. Helena still needs 
elucidation. The recent work of M. Silvestre has been found of 
great service. 



CHAPTER XIX 

THE CAPTIVITY 

NAPOLEON had not intended to stay long 
at Rambouillet, but after supper, feeling him- 
self unwell, he slept there, and left early the 
next morning. The carnage passed through 
Tours at midnight Here he had ten minutes' conversation 
with the prefet, the Comte de Miramar, who had formerly 
been his chamberlain. He was anxious to discover if 
Fouche had sent any of his myrmidons to lay a trap for 
him. The heat was most oppressive, and a halt of two 
hours was made at Poitiers. Niort was reached at 10 p.m. 
on July i. Here he slept at an inn, the Boule d'or. On 
the next day, which was Sunday, he was informed that 
Rochefort was strictly blockaded by an English squadron. 
This squadron, under the command of Admiral Hotham, 
consisted of two ships of the line, the Superb and the 
Bellerophon, three frigates, the Eridanus, the Endymion, 
and the Pactolus, and a dozen smaller vessels. They 
cruised over a considerable distance, of at least 250 
miles from Arcachon to Brest. The only vessel of any 
consequence which guarded the entrance to Rochefort was 
the Bellerophon, so that the report made by Bonnefoux 
was exaggerated. Joseph, Gourgaud, and Lallemand 
joined him at Niort. He left this town at four in the 
morning. The streets were full of people, who shouted 
u Vive TEmpereur ! " " Stay here ! stay here ! " Similar 
demonstrations took place in every village through which 
he passed. 

294 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 295 

At Rochefort, Decres had given orders to Bonnefoux 
that the frigates Saale and Meduse were to be ready to sail 
twelve hours after the arrival of the Emperor, and were to 
start if the strict watch of the English cruisers should allow 
this without compromising the frigates. If they were 
attacked at sea, the frigate on which Napoleon was not 
embarked was to sacrifice herself in order to allow the 
other to escape. When Napoleon arrived on Monday, 
July 3, at 8 p.m., everything was ready for departure, and 
Napoleon wished to go on board at once. But Bonnefoux, 
who was a weak-minded man, said that the passage was 
blockaded and the wind contrary. It was suggested by 
Admiral Martin that the Emperor should go to Ragon, a 
harbour at the mouth of the Gironde, where he would find 
a corvette, the Bayadere, commanded by Captain Baudin. 
Martin said, " I know Baudin ; he is the only man capable 
of conveying the Emperor safe and sound to America." 
Baudin agreed, and Napoleon at first approved ; but he 
came to the conclusion that such a step would be unworthy 
of his dignity and his past history. On the other hand, he 
was governed by the idea, which had always haunted him, 
that the noblest course of action would be to surrender to 
the English. He determined to stay at Rochefort to await 
the arrival of Joseph, and the carriages which he was to 
take with him to America. Joseph came on July 5. 
By Friday, July 7, the whole of his suite had arrived. It 
included Montholon, Madame Montholon and her son, 
Las Cases and his son, besides cooks, men-servants, ladies'- 
maids — in all sixty-four persons. The population acclaimed 
him with enthusiasm. The Comte d'Artois was informed 
that he was greeted like a god. 

On the evening of that day Beker received a despatch 
from the commission of government at Paris, that Napoleon 
was to embark without delay, that force was to be employed 
if necessary, and that he was not to be allowed to communi- 
cate with the English squadron. The next morning Beker 



296 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

saw the Emperor and begged him to embark. After some 
conversation, he consented to go to the He d'Aix, where 
he would be close to the frigate, and be able to go on board 
when the wind was favourable. At 4 p.m. he left the pre- 
fecture, driving from a garden postern, as he had done at 
the Malmaison. He was carried to a boat on a man's 
back, the sailors and fishermen weeping like children, who 
took leave of him with a last deep shout of " Vive 
l'Empereur ! " The sea being rough, he would not go to the 
He d'Aix, but made straight for the frigate, which was 
reached in an hour and an half. Napoleon was received on 
board the Saale with Imperial military honours, but no 
salute was fired. A friendly hand has engraved on the 
little jetty of Fouras, the word " Napoleon.'* 

On Sunday, July 9, a feeble wind blew in the wrong 
direction, and the masts of the Bellerophon and the 
other vessels were visible off the He d'Oleron. Napoleon 
watched them for some time through his glass. He then 
expressed a desire to visit the He d'Aix. At 5.30 he 
stepped into a boat, accompanied by Gourgaud, Las Cases, 
Beker, and some other officers. He wore a civilian's dress, 
a green coat and white waistcoat, nankeen breeches, and a 
round hat, without decorations. He visited the fortifications 
which he had built in 1808, and on his return to the 
harbour reviewed the 14th regiment of marines, who 
received him with enthusiasm. He returned to the Saale at 
nine o'clock for breakfast. At ten, Bonnefoux brought 
to Beker some new orders from Decres with regard to the 
disposal of the Emperor. He was to hasten as far as 
possible the departure of the two frigates who were to take 
Napoleon to America. But if this was rendered impossible 
by the wind in the presence of the enemy, he was to 
embark on board a despatch boat, provided he left within 
twenty- four hours. If Napoleon preferred to go on board 
an English cruiser, he was to be allowed to do so, but he 
must express his desire in writing. In no case was he to 
be landed on any point of the French coast. 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 297 

Napoleon had now definitely determined to seek hos- 
pitality in England, an idea which had been present to 
his mind for a long time. Therefore, as soon as he received 
the permission of the government, he sent Savary and Las 
Cases at 2 a.m. on Monday, July 10, to the Bellerophon, 
Captain Maitland, bearing a letter from Bertrand the 
Grand Marshal in the following terms : " The Emperor 
Napoleon, having abdicated the throne of France and chosen 
the United States of America as a retreat, is, with his suite, 
at present embarked on board the two frigates which are in 
this port, for the purpose of proceeding to his destination. 
He expects a passport from the British government, which 
has been promised to him, and which induces me to send 
the present flag of truce, to demand of you, sir, if you have 
any knowledge of the above-mentioned passport, or if 
you think it is the intention of the British government 
to throw any impediments in the way of our voyage to the 
United States. I shall feel much obliged by your giving 
me any information you may possess on the subject." In 
the ensuing narrative, we will quote Maitland's words as far 
as possible. He says : " The bearer of the letter had 
instructions to demand of me, whether I would prevent 
Buonaparte from proceeding in a neutral vessel, provided 
I could not permit the frigates to pass with him on board. 
Having received in my orders the strictest injunctions 
to secrecy, and feeling that the force on the coast, at my 
disposal, was insufficient to guard the different ports and 
passages from which an escape might be effected, 
particularly should the plan be adopted of putting to sea 
in a small vessel, I wrote the following reply to the above 
communication, hoping by that means to induce Napoleon 
to remain for the Admiral's answer, which would give time 
for the arrival of reinforcements." The letter said, that, the 
two countries being in a state of war, Maitland could not 
permit any ship of war to put to sea from Rochefort, and 
that he could not allow a merchant vessel to pass with 



298 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

a passenger of such consequence without the consent of 
Admiral Hotham. 

Savary and Las Cases, arriving at 7 a.m., remained on 
board the Bellerophon between two or three hours, during 
which time they had breakfast. Much of their conversa- 
tion may be passed over, but when Savary remarked that 
Napoleon would prefer retiring into obscurity, where he 
might end his days in peace and tranquillity, and were he 
solicited to ascend the throne again, he would decline it, 
Maitland said, " If that is the case, why not ask an asylum 
in England ? " Savary answered, " There are many reasons 
for his not wishing to reside in England : the climate is 
too damp and cold ; it is too near France ; he would be, 
as it were, the centre of every change and revolution that 
might take place there, and would be subject to suspicion. 
He has been accustomed to consider the English as his 
most inveterate enemies, and they have been induced to 
look upon him as a monster, without one of the virtues of 
a human being." It is not known what answer Maitland 
made to this very frank announcement. Savary and Las 
Cases returned to the Saale not very well satisfied. 

It is necessary to consider how far, when Maitland sug- 
gested the hospitality of England, he was aware of the 
treatment which Napoleon would receive if he went there. 
Maitland said he was " quite ignorant of what had occurred 
in France further than the decisive victory obtained by the 
Duke of Wellington at Waterloo." This was false. On 
June 30 he had received an anonymous communication 
from Bordeaux saying that the Emperor had abdicated, 
that he had left Paris, and that he was trying to escape by 
sea. On July 1 he was informed that the frigates in Aix 
Roads had taken in their powder, and were in all respects 
ready to put to sea ; also that several gentlemen in plain 
clothes and some ladies, supposed to form part of Bona- 
parte's suite, had arrived at He d'Aix ; but there was little 
doubt of its being his intention to effect his escape. 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 299 

Maitland therefore brought the Bellerophon as close as 
possible to the frigates, kept guard-boats rowing all night, 
and trained a hundred of the stoutest men to board the 
frigate in case of necessity. On July 7 he received an order 
from Hotham saying that it was believed that " Napoleon 
Buonaparte " had taken his road from Paris for Rochefort, 
to embark from there for the United States of America. 
Maitland was to use his best endeavours to prevent his 
making his escape in either of the frigates at the He d'Aix. 
On July 8 he was told that passports had been asked for 
and refused, that " taking Buonaparte " is the thing to be 
desired, that the admiral depends on Maitland's using the 
best means that can be adopted to intercept the fugitive, 
"on whose captivity the repose of Europe seems to de- 
pend," and concludes, "If he should be taken, he is to be 
brought to me in this bay, as I have orders for his disposal. 
He is to be removed from the ship in which he may be 
found to one of His Majesty's ships." The letter which 
Maitland received during the visit of the two emissaries 
contained orders from the British Admiralty, saying, " If 
you should be so fortunate as to intercept him, you are to 
transfer him and his family to the ship you command, and 
thus keeping him in careful custody, return to the nearest 
port in England (going into Torbay in preference to 
Plymouth) with all possible expedition, and on your 
arrival you are not to permit any communication whatever 
with the shore, except as hereinafter directed, and you 
will be held responsible for keeping the whole transaction 
a profound secret, until you receive their Lordships' further 
orders." There can, 1 am afraid, be little doubt that when 
Maitland suggested that Napoleon should seek an asylum 
in England, he knew that this asylum would mean cap- 
tivity. 

The Meduse was commanded by Captain Ponee. He 
came to Montholon, who was on board of her, and made 
a fresh proposition. It was that the Meduse should attack 



300 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

the Bellerophon, and keep her employed for two hours, and 
that the Saale should escape in the meantime. Napoleon 
was touched by this act of devotion ; but before he had 
time to give any decision, the captain of the Saale forbade 
any such enterprise. On July 1 1 arrived the news of the 
capitulation of Paris, at which Napoleon was profoundly 
affected. On the morning of the next day he left the Saale 
for the He d'Aix, to the despair of the crew. Ponee cried, 
" He does not know the English. Into what hands is he 
going to deliver himself? Poor Napoleon, you are lost!" 
Another plan was formed by six officers of marines to 
carry the Emperor and his suite off in two chasses-marees, 
to seize a merchant vessel, and make it take them to 
America. Napoleon listened to this as he did to others, 
for fear of hurting the feelings of their authors. But he 
had no real intention of assenting to it. He was the 
proudest of men, and his whole life shows that no one had 
a more abiding sense of self-respect. As Houssaye rightly 
points out, he saw clearly that only three courses would be 
worthy of him : to assume the command of the army in 
obedience to regular orders ; to go on board the frigates 
with the honour due to Imperial rank ; or to entrust himself 
to the generosity of England. 

From time to time, however, the clear insight of Napoleon 
convinced him what his fate would be in England, and how 
disagreeable he would find it to spend his life amongst 
enemies. Joseph, who had remained at Rochefort, came to 
the island of Aix on July 13, and proposed to his brother 
to reach the banks of the Gironde and to embark on an 
American ship. Baudin was also willing to convey the 
Emperor on board his ship the Bayadere, or on an American 
vessel. This was given up, perhaps under the influence of 
Beker, and the scheme of the six marine officers was 
resumed. An objection to this was that the ladies and 
some of the suite must be left behind, and the frivolous 
and emotional Gourgaud was jealous, lest he should not 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 301 

travel with the Emperor. We repeat the well-known 
story. Gourgaud reproached his master with not having 
the courage to make a complete sacrifice. Napoleon 
avowed that it would be the wisest course, but that the day 
before his resolution to live amongst his enemies had 
broken down. A little bird entered the port-hole. " Set 
it free," said the Emperor. " There is enough unhappiness 
in the world." As the bird flew away, Napoleon said, 
" Let us watch the augury." " Sire," cried Gourgaud, " it 
flies towards the English vessel." 

Notwithstanding this, Napoleon had determined to 
embark either in the coasting vessel of the marine officers, 
or in a Danish vessel, during the night, and the luggage 
had been sent on board. After dinner Napoleon had 
retired to his study. Beker went upstairs and said to him, 
" Sire, everything is ready : the captain waits." Napoleon 
made no answer. Some time later Bertrand approached 
the Emperor. Napoleon said to him, "There is always 
danger in trusting yourself to your enemies, but it is better 
to run the risk of trusting to their honour, than to be 
a prisoner in their hands. Tell them that I will not go on 
board, and that I will pass the night here." It is vain to 
attempt to penetrate into the mysteries of that mighty 
soul. That night the famous letter to the Prince Regent 
of England was written. 

On the morning of July 14 Las Cases and Lallemand 
went on board the Bellerophon. Las Cases asked whether 
Maitland had received an answer from the admiral, and 
was told that he had not. Las Cases then said that the 
Emperor was so anxious to spare the further effusion of 
human blood that he would proceed to America in any 
way the British government chose to sanction, either in 
a French ship of war, a vessel armed en JMte, a merchant 
vessel, or even in a British ship of war. Maitland ex- 
pressed his belief that the British government would not 
agree to anything of this kind ; that he might venture to 



302 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

receive him into his ship and to convey him to England, 
but that he could not promise as to the reception he might 
meet with. This he repeated several times. Las Cases, on 
leaving the ship, said, " Under all circumstances, I have 
little doubt that you will see the Emperor on board the 
Bellerophon." They left the Bellerophon about half-past 
nine, and reached the He d'Aix about eleven. Houssaye, 
relying on a letter of Bertrand to Joseph, concludes that 
Maitland gave more reassuring accounts of the reception 
of Napoleon in England than Maitland admits in his 
narrative. 

During the night Napoleon summoned his friends, and 
informed them of his intention to seek an asylum in 
England. Savary, Bertrand, Gourgaud, and Las Cases 
approved of this design. Montholon urged the Emperor 
to embark on board the Bayadere; Lallemand to seek 
safety on board the Danish ship, and to place himself at 
the head of the army of the Loire. Napoleon was not 
likely to take a step which might lead to a civil war. He 
then read to Gourgaud the draft of his letter to the Prince 
Regent, and Gourgaud shed tears on hearing it. He 
wished Gourgaud to go to London immediately, and to 
deliver the letter into the hands of the Prince Regent. He 
would like best to go to America ; if not, to settle in 
England under the name of Colonel Muiron, in a country 
house about thirty miles from London. He did not object 
to an English commissioner living with him, provided that 
the arrangements made did not imply a condition of servi- 
tude. About 7 p.m. a boat came alongside the Bellerophon, 
bringing Las Cases and Gourgaud. They were the bearers 
of a letter from Bertrand, containing the statement that 
Napoleon would come on board the Bellerophon early on 
the following morning. It said also, " If the admiral, in 
consequence of the despatch you forwarded to him, should 
send the passport for the United States therein demanded, 
His Majesty will be happy to repair to America ; but 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 303 

should the passport be withheld, he will willingly proceed 
to England as a private individual, there to enjoy the pro- 
tection of the laws of your country. His Majesty has 
despatched General Baron Gourgaud to the Prince Regent 
with a letter, a copy of which I have the honour to enclose, 
requesting that you will forward it to such one of the 
ministers as you may think it necessary to reach that 
general officer, that he may have the honour of delivering 
the letter with which he is charged to the Prince Regent." 
A list was also enclosed of Napoleon's suite, in all fifty 
persons, including servants. 

The letter to the Prince Regent ran as follows : " Your 
Royal Highness, — Attacked by the factions which distract 
my country and by the enmity of the greatest Powers of 
Europe, I have terminated my political career, and I come, 
like Themistocles, to seat myself on the hearth of the 
British people. I place myself under the protection of its 
laws, which I claim from your Royal Highness as the most 
powerful, the most constant, and the most generous of my 
enemies." 

Maitland told Las Cases that he would receive Napoleon 
on board, and would send Gourgaud to England by the 
Slaney with his despatches to the Admiralty, but that he 
would not be allowed to land until permission was received 
from London, or the sanction of the admiral at the port he 
might arrive at obtained. The letter would be presented 
to the Prince Regent by the minister. He then said : 
"Monsieur Las Cases, you will recollect that 1 am not 
authorized to stipulate as to the reception of Buonaparte 
in England, but that he must consider himself entirely at 
the disposal of his Royal Highness the Prince Regent." 
Maitland says that Las Cases answered, " I am perfectly 
aware of that, and have already acquainted the Emperor 
with what you said on the subject." Gourgaud was sent 
to England in the Slaney. A conversation arose about the 
ladies, with reference to which Maitland remarks : " I here, 



304 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

once for all, beg to state most distinctly that from the time 
of his coming on board my ship to the period of his quit- 
ting her, his conduct was invariably that of a gentleman ; 
and in no one instance do I recollect him to have made use 
of a rude expression, or to have been guilty of any kind of 
ill-breeding." During the night two messages reached 
Maitland that Napoleon had escaped, but after a conversa- 
tion with Las Cases he put no faith in them. 

On July 14 a mysterious circumstance occurred at 
Rochefort, which is thus related by Houssaye. In the 
morning, a certain Baron Richard, a friend of Fouche, 
appeared bringing despatches for Bonnefoux from Jaucourt, 
the new Minister of Marine. Bonnefoux was ordered to 
keep Napoleon on board the Saale, to prevent him from 
landing in France or having any communication with the 
English vessel. Apparently the design was to deliver 
Napoleon up as a prisoner to the English, in order to 
prevent him from enjoying any advantage he might obtain 
from a voluntary surrender. Bonnefoux temporized. He 
did not leave Rochefort till late in the evening, and went 
on board the Saale, although he knew that the Emperor 
was at the He d'Aix. When he learnt from the captain 
that the Emperor would leave for the Bellerophon at day- 
break next morning, he did nothing to prevent him, but 
sent a message to Beker to hasten the proceedings, as new 
orders had arrived from Paris. Everything was, however, 
in readiness. The luggage was on board, and on July 15, 
at sunrise, Napoleon himself mounted the deck of the 
Epervier. For the first time since leaving the Malmaison 
he wore his customary uniform. Maitland gives us a descrip- 
tion of him. He wore an olive-coloured great coat, over 
a green uniform, with scarlet cape and cuffs, green lapels 
turned back and edged with scarlet, skirts looped back 
with bugle horns embroidered in gold, plain sugar-loaf 
buttons, and gold epaulettes, being the uniform of the 
Chasseurs a Cheval of the Imperial Guard. He wore the 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 305 

Star or Great Cross of the Legion of Honour, and the small 
cross of that order, the Iron Cross and the Union attached 
to the button-hole of his left lapel. He had on a small 
cocked hat, with a tricolour cockade, plain gold-hilted 
sword, military boots, and white waistcoat and breeches. 
The sailors were drawn up on deck, shouting " Vive l'Em- 
pereur ! " with tears in their eyes, and broken sobs in their 
throats. The lieutenant of the Saale whispered to the 
captain of the Epervier to make haste, as some attempt 
might be made to arrest the Emperor. " Not on board 
the Epervier," cried the captain ; " at least, while I am alive." 
At the last moment Beker approached the Emperor, and 
asked whether he wished that he should accompany him 
on board the Bellerophon. He answered with dignity, 
" No, General Beker, it must not be said that France 
delivered me to the English." 

Maitland tells us that at break of day on July 15, 
PEpervier, French brig of war, was discovered under sail 
standing out towards the ship with a flag of truce up, and 
at the same time the Superb, bearing Sir Henry Hotham's 
flag, was seen in the offing. Maitland was afraid that the 
admiral would arrive before he had " terminated the affair 
which he had brought so near a conclusion," and so rob 
him of the credit of effecting Napoleon's capture ; so he 
sent off the first lieutenant in the barge, who returned soon 
after six o'clock, bringing Napoleon with him. He says 
that on leaving the Epervier he was cheered by the ship's 
company as long as the barge was within hearing, and that 
most of the officers and men had tears in their eyes. On 
coming on board the Bellerophon he was received without 
any of the honours generally paid to persons of high rank ; 
the guard was drawn out, but did not present arms. Mait- 
land made the excuse that such honours are not paid in 
British ships before eight or after sunset. When Napoleon 
came on the quarter-deck he took off his hat and said to 
Maitland in a firm tone of voice, " I am come to throw my- 
x 



306 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

self on the protection of your Prince and laws/' The Superb 
anchored about 10.30. Maitland went on board and told 
Hotham that he hoped he had done right, as he considered 
it of much importance to prevent Bonaparte's escape to 
America, and to get possession of his person. Hotham 
replied, " Getting hold of him on any terms would have 
been of the greatest consequence, but as you have entered 
into no conditions whatever, there cannot be a doubt that 
you will obtain the approbation of His Majesty's govern- 
ment/' 

Napoleon sent a message to the admiral to invite him to 
dinner, and in the afternoon he arrived, accompanied by 
Captain Senhouse, who has left an interesting account of 
the event in letters to his wife. Napoleon conducted him- 
self as a royal personage, sitting at the middle of the 
table, and placing Hotham on his right hand. The next 
day, Sunday, July 16, Napoleon returned the visit on 
board the Superb. The ship was dressed and the yards 
manned, indeed all royal honours were paid him except a 
salute, and there was nothing to show that he was a 
prisoner. Senhouse says that he conducted himself with 
the grace and affability of a perfect gentleman. Hotham 
offered to lodge the Emperor on board the Superb, being 
more comfortable than the Bellerophon, but he declined, 
saying that he did not wish to hurt Maitland's feelings, 
especially if the fact of being with him might be advan- 
tageous to his career. He left everywhere the most favour- 
able impression. His brow was calm and without a cloud, 
his face exhibited conciliation, good humour, and good 
spirits. It was easy to understand how he had conquered 
the hearts of his soldiers. The party returned to the 
Bellerophon at two in the afternoon and immediately set 
sail for England, On Thursday, July 20, the Bellerophon 
passed the Swiftsure. Maitland went on board and said 
to Captain Webley, " Well, I have got him." " Got him ! 
Got whom?" was the answer. "Why, Buonaparte, the 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 307 

man that has been keeping all Europe in a ferment these 
last twenty years." " Is it possible?" Webley replied. 
"Well, you are a lucky fellow." This is an interesting 
illustration of English public opinion with regard to the 
great Emperor. On Sunday, July 23, Ushant was passed. 
As the day was fine, Napoleon remained upon deck a 
great part of the morning and cast melancholy looks at 
the coast of France. At eight in the evening the high 
land of Dartmoor appeared. Napoleon, who was almost 
undressed, put on his great coat and looked intently on the 
land. Early on July 24, the ship anchored in Torbay. 
Napoleon was much struck with the beauty of the scenery, 
and exclaimed, " What a beautiful country ! It very much 
resembles the bay of Porto Ferrajo in Elba." Despatches 
immediately came to hand from Lord Keith which ordered 
the strictest caution in all dealings with Bonaparte. They 
contained, however, the human sentences, " Let him and 
his want for nothing ; and send to me for anything Brix- 
ham cannot furnish; I will send it to you by a small 
vessel. You may say to Napoleon that I am under the 
greatest personal obligations to him for his attention to 
my nephew, who was taken and brought before him at 
Belle Alliance, and who must have died if he had not 
ordered a surgeon to dress him immediately and send him 
to a hut" While Napoleon was crossing from Rochefort 
to the English coast the English Cabinet was discussing 
the fate of their prisoner. We may, perhaps, some day 
learn more in detail about their deliberations, but some 
light is thrown upon the matter by the following letter 
from Liverpool to Castlereagh, dated July 21, 181 5. He 
says: "I have this moment received your letter of the 17th 
inst, with the intelligence of the surrender of Buonaparte, 
of which I wish you joy. We are all decidedly of opinion 
that it would not answer to confine him in this country. 
Very nice legal questions might arise upon the subject, 
which would be particularly embarrassing. But, indepen- 



308 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

dent of these conditions, you know enough of the feelings 
of people in this country not to doubt that he would 
become an object of curiosity immediately, and possibly of 
compassion in the course of a few months ; and the very 
circumstance of his being here or indeed anywhere in 
Europe would contribute to keep up a certain degree of 
ferment in France. Since I wrote to you last, Lord Mel- 
ville and myself have conversed with Mr. Barrow on the 
subject, and he decidedly recommends St. Helena as the 
place in the world the best calculated for the imprison- 
ment of such a person. There is a very fine citadel there 
in which he might reside; the situation is particularly 
healthy ; there is only one place in the circuit of the island 
where ships can anchor, and we have the power of exclud- 
ing neutral vessels altogether if we should think it neces- 
sary. At such a distance and in such a place all intrigues 
would be impossible, and being withdrawn so far from the 
European world he would very soon be forgotten." Napo- 
leon forgotten ! 

" To conclude, we wish that the King of France would 
hang or shoot Buonaparte, as the best termination of the 
business, but if this is impracticable, and the allies are 
desirous that we should have the custody of him, it is not 
unreasonable that we should be allowed to judge of the 
means by which that custody can be more effectual." 

The letter from Liverpool to Castlereagh, referred to 
above, runs as follows : " Before I enter on other matters, I 
am desirous of apprising you of our sentiments respecting 
Buonaparte. If you should succeed in getting possession 
of his person, and the King of France does not feel suffi- 
ciently strong to bring him to justice as a rebel, we are 
ready to take upon ourselves the custody of his person, on 
the part of the Allied Powers ; and indeed we should think 
it better that he should be assigned to us rather than to 
any other members of the Confederacy. In this case we 
should prefer that there were no commissioners appointed 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 309 

on the part of the other powers, but that the discretion 
should be vested entirely in ourselves, and that we should 
be at liberty to fix the place of his confinement, either in 
Great Britain, or at Gibraltar, Malta, St. Helena, the Cape 
of Good Hope, or any other colony we might think most 
secure. We incline at present strongly to the opinion that 
the best place of custody would be at a distance from 
Europe, that the Cape of Good Hope or St. Helena would 
be the most proper station for the purpose. If, however, 
we are to have the severe responsibility of such a charge, 
it is but just that we should have the choice of a place of 
confinement and a complete discretion as to the means 
necessary to render that confinement effectual." 

On July 24, Castlereagh wrote to Liverpool from Paris : 
" I am impatient to receive the notification of Buonaparte's 
arrival in England, and to be informed of the steps you 
have thought it advisable to adopt both towards himself 
and his suite, which contains two very flagrant criminals, 
Savary and L'Allemand ... I forgot to mention that I 
believe there will be no sort of difficulty in leaving the 
unrestricted custody of Buonaparte's person to the British 
Government, under, perhaps, some engagement with the 
Allied Powers not to turn him loose without their consent/' 
On the same day Lord Bathurst wrote to Wellington, en- 
closing a copy of Maitland's letter of the 14th, with its 
enclosure received that morning. He proceeds : " We have 
nearly determined, subject to what we may hear from Paris 
in answer to Lord Liverpool's letter a week ago, to send 
Buonaparte to St. Helena. In point of climate it is un- 
objectionable, and its situation will enable us to keep him 
from all intercourse with the world, without requiring all 
that severity of restraint which it would be otherwise 
necessary to inflict upon him. There is much reason to 
hope that in a place from whence we propose excluding all 
neutrals and with which there can be so little communica- 
tion, Buonaparte's existence will soon be forgotten. It 



3io THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

is intended to appoint Sir Hudson Lowe as the officer 
attached to him. I do not believe we could have found a 
fitter person of his rank in the army willing to accept a 
situation of so much confinement, responsibility, and exclu- 
sion from society." 

When the Bellerophon arrived at Torbay, the ship was 
surrounded by a crowd of boats, people being drawn from 
all quarters to see the Emperor. He came often upon 
deck, and showed himself at the gangway and stern win- 
dows, to gratify their curiosity. On the following day the 
concourse of people around the ship was greater than the 
day before. In the afternoon he walked for more than an 
hour on deck, standing frequently at the gangway, or 
opposite to the quarterdeck boards, so that people might 
see him, and whenever he observed any well-dressed 
women, he pulled his hat off and bowed to them. On 
July 26 he was taken to Plymouth, and two English 
vessels were anchored on each side of the Bellerophon to 
prevent Napoleon's escape, and to restrain shore boats and 
others from coming close to her. Napoleon complained of 
these two frigates being placed as guardships over him, 
and also that their boats had been firing musketry all the 
evening to keep the shore boats at a distance. He said, "It 
disturbs and distresses me, and I should be obliged to you 
to prevent it, if it lies in your power." 

On Sunday, July 30, the crowd of boats was greater 
than ever. Upwards of a thousand were collected round 
the ship, in each of which on an average there were not 
fewer than eight people. The crush was so great as to 
render it quite impossible for the guardboats to keep them 
off, though a boat belonging to one of the frigates made use 
of very violent means to effect it ; frequently running 
against small boats containing women with such force as 
nearly to upset them, and alarming the ladies extremely. 
The French officers were very indignant at such rude pro- 
ceedings, saying, " Is this your English liberty ? Were 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 311 

such a thing to happen in France, the men would rise with 
one accord and throw that officer and his crew overboard/' 

On July 31, Sir Henry Bunbury came down from 
London, and, with Lord Keith, visited the Bellerophon at 
10.30 a.m. They notified to Napoleon the decision of the 
government, styling him "General" Bonaparte through- 
out. He was to be sent to St. Helena, and to be permitted 
to take with him three of the higher class of those who 
had accompanied him from France, and twelve domestics, 
who were to be selected by himself, with the exception of 
Savary and Lallemand, who were not on any account to 
be permitted to go with him. The interview lasted half 
an hour, and the suite were much distressed, especially 
Savary and Lallemand, who were extremely urgent to 
know how they were to be disposed of, protesting most 
vehemently against their being given up to France, as a 
breach of all faith and honour. 

Napoleon showed the government despatch to Maitland, 
and complained bitterly of being sent to St. Helena, 
saying, "The idea of it is perfect horror to me: to be 
placed for life on an island within the tropics, at an 
immense distance from any land, cut off from all com- 
munication with the world and everything that I hold 
dear in it It is worse than Tamerlane's iron couch. I 
would prefer being delivered up to the Bourbons. Among 
other insults this is a mere bagatelle, a very secondary 
consideration. They style me a ' general.' They may as 
well call me Archbishop, for I was head of the Church 
as well as of the army. If they do not acknowledge me 
as Emperor, they ought to do so as First Consul. They 
have sent ambassadors to me as such, and your king in 
his letters styled me ' brother.' Had they confined me in 
the Tower of London, or one of the fortresses in England, 
though not what I had hoped from the generosity of the 
English people, I should not have so much cause of com- 
plaint ; but to banish me to an island within the tropics, 



312 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

they might as well have signed my death-warrant at once, 
as it is impossible that a man of my habit of body can 
live in such a climate." The transference of Napoleon 
from the Bellerophon to the Northumberland was obliged 
to be effected at sea, because a lawyer had been sent down 
from London with a habeas corpus, insisting that Napo- 
leon should be delivered to appear as a witness in the 
Court of King's Bench. On August 4 Napoleon wrote 
the following protest on board the Bellerophon : — 

" I hereby solemnly protest in the face of Heaven and 
of men against the violence done me, and against the 
violation of my most sacred rights in forcibly disposing 
of my person and of my liberty. I came on board the 
Bellerophon. I am not a prisoner, I am a guest of 
England. I came on board even at the instigation of the 
captain, who told me he had orders from the Government 
to receive me and my suite, and conduct me to England 
if it were agreeable to me. I presented myself with good 
faith to put myself under the protection of the English 
laws. As soon as I was on board the Bellerophon I was 
under the shelter of the British people. If the Govern- 
ment in giving orders to the captain of the Bellerophon 
to receive me as well as my suite only intended to lay a 
snare for me, it has forfeited its honour and disgraced its 
flag. If this act be consummated, the English will in vain 
boast to Europe of their integrity, their laws and their 
liberty. British good faith will be lost in the hospitality 
of the Bellerophon. I appeal to history. It will say that 
an enemy who for twenty years waged war against the 
English people came voluntarily in his misfortunes to seek 
an asylum under their laws. What more striking proof 
could he give of his esteem and his confidence, but what 
return did England make for so much magnanimity? 
They feigned to stretch forth a friendly hand to that 
enemy, and when he delivered himself up in good faith, 
they sacrificed him." 

Napoleon held a final conversation with Maitland on 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 313 

the evening of August 6. He said, " Your Government 
has treated me with much severity, and in a very 
different way from what I had hoped and expected from 
the opinion I had formed of your countrymen. It is 
true I have always been the enemy of England, but I 
have ever been an open and declared enemy, and I paid 
the highest compliment that was possible for a man to 
do in throwing myself on the generosity of your prince. 
I have now to learn, however, that it is not fair to judge 
of the character of a people by the character of their 
government. They say I made no conditions. Certainly 
I made no conditions. How could an individual enter 
into terms with a nation ? I wanted nothing of them but 
hospitality, or as the ancients would express it, air and 
water. My only wish was to purchase a small property 
in England, and end my life there in peace and tran- 
quillity. As for you, captain, I have no cause of com- 
plaint. Your conduct to me has been that of a man of 
honour, but I cannot help feeling the severity of my fate 
in having the prospect of passing the remainder of my 
life on a desert island." 

I will conclude by contrasting two judgments of Napo- 
leon, one of the naval officer who did and the other of 
the English press who did not know him. Maitland says 
of him: " His manners were extremely pleasant and affable, 
he joined in every conversation, related numerous anec- 
dotes, and endeavoured in every way to promote good- 
humour. He even admitted his attendants into great 
familiarity, and I saw one or two instances of their 
contradicting him in the most direct manner, though they 
generally treated him with much respect. He possessed 
to a wonderful degree the faculty of making a favourable 
impression upon those with whom he came into conversa- 
tion. Lord Keith appears to have formed a very high 
opinion of his powers of fascination, and expressed it very 
emphatically to me after he had seen him. Speaking of 



3i4 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

his wish for an interview with the Prince Regent, * D — n 
that fellow/ he said, * if he had only obtained an inter- 
view with his Royal Highness, in half an hour they would 
have been the best friends in England/ He appeared to 
have great command of temper, for though no man 
can have had greater trials than fell to his lot, during 
the time he remained on board the Bellerophon he 
never in my presence, or as far as I know, allowed a 
fretful or captious expression to escape him. Even on 
the day he received the notification from Sir Henry 
Bunbury that it was determined to send him to St. 
Helena, he chatted and conversed with the same cheer- 
fulness as usual." 

Let us compare with this the utterance of the Times 
newspaper on July 25 : — 

" Our paper of this day will satisfy the sceptics, for such 
there were beginning to be, as to the capture of that bloody 
miscreant who has so long tortured Europe, Napoleon 
Buonaparte. Savages are always found to unite the greatest 
degree of cunning to the ferocious part of their nature. The 
cruelty of this person is written in characters of blood in 
almost every country in Europe and in the contiguous angles 
of Africa and Asia which he visited, and nothing can more 
strongly evince the Universal conviction of his low per- 
fidious craft than the opinion which is beginning to get 
abroad that, even after his capture had been officially 
announced, both in France and England, he might yet 
have found means to escape. 

" However, all doubts upon this point are at an end, by 
his arrival off the British coast, and if he be not now 
placed beyond the possibility of again outraging the peace 
of Europe, England will certainly never again deserve to 
have heroes such as those who have fought and bled at 
Waterloo, for this his present overthrow. The lives of the 
brave men who fell on that memorable day will have been 
absolutely thrown away by a thoughtless country. The 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 315 

grand object obtained by their valour would have been 
prostrated, and we should have done little less than insult 
over their remains almost before they have ceased to bleed, 
but fortune seconding their undaunted efforts has put in 
our power to do far otherwise. 

" Buonaparte's suite, as it is called, consists of upwards 
of forty persons, among whom are Bertrand, Savary, 
Lallemand, Grogau, and several women. He has been 
allowed to take on board carriages and horses, but admis- 
sion is denied to about fifty cavalry, for whom he had the 
impudence to require accommodation. This wretch has 
really lived in the commission of every crime so long that 
he has lost all sight and knowledge of the difference that 
exists between good and evil, and hardly knows when he 
is doing wrong, except he be taught by proper chastise- 
ment. A creature who ought to be greeted with the 
gallows as soon as he lands to think of fifty horsemen ! 
He had at first wanted to make conditions with Captain 
Maitland as to his treatment, but the British officer very 
properly declared that he must refer him upon this subject 
to his Government. It has been the constant trick of this 
villain, whenever he has got his companions into a scrape, 
to leave them in it, and seek his own safety by flight. In 
the retreat in the Moscow expedition, and at Waterloo, 
such was his conduct. 

" The first procedure, we trust, will be a special commis- 
sion or a court-martial to try him for the murder of Captain 
Wright. It is nonsense to say, as some have, that court- 
martials are instituted only to try offences committed by 
soldiers of the country to which they belong. It was an 
American court-martial that tried and shot Major Andre 
as a spy, and Buonaparte himself appointed commissions 
of all kinds and of all countries to try offences com- 
mitted against himself." 

Who was Captain Wright? Napoleon was asked the 
question at St. Helena, and replied that he had never 



316 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

heard of him. Most readers of this work would make 
the same admission. 

He was the captain of an English frigate presumably em- 
ployed in landing royalist troops on the coast of Brittany. 
He was captured and imprisoned in the Temple, where 
one morning he was found dead. It was thought that he 
had committed suicide in order to avoid disclosures, but 
the English writers attributed his death to poison. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS CONSULTED 

Oncken, W. Das Zeitalter der Revolution, des Kaiserreichs, und der 

Befreiungskriege. 2 vols. Berlin, 1884-7. 
Sorel, A. D Europe et la Revolution frangaise (1789-18 15). 8 vols. 

Paris, 1 885-1904. 
Weber, G. Allgemeine Geschichte. 2nd edn. 15 vols. Leipzig, 

1882-9. 
Weiss, J. B. von. Weltgeschichte (Vols. XIX-XXII, 1795-1815). 

Leipzig, 1896-8. 
Koch, C. G. de, and Schoell, M.S.F. Histoire abregee des traites de 

paix. New edn., continued to 181 5. 4 vols. Brussels, 1837-8. 
Napoleon I. Corresponda?ice de; Stiivie des csuvres de N. d Sainte- 

Helene. 32 vols. 1858-70. 
Annual Register, the, or a view of the History, Politics, and Litera- 
ture for the year . . . New series, 1800-15. 
Hansard's Parliamentary Debates. Vols. I-XXXI (from 1803). 

London, v.d. 
Wellington, Field-Marshal the Duke of. Dispatches. Edited by 

Colonel Gurwood. New edn. 8 vols. London, 1844-7. 
Supplementary Dispatches, Correspondence, and Memoranda. 

Edited by his son. 15 vols. London, 1858-72. 
Moniteur, Le (official organ after 1799). Paris, 1799-18 15. 
Yorck von Wartenburg. Das lebe?i des Feldmarschalls Grafen. By 

J. G. Droysen. 2nd edn. 1884. 
Metternich-Winneburg, C. W. N. L., Prince. Nachgelassene Papiere. 

Edited by his son. 8 vols. Vienna, 1880-4. Mdmoires, docu- 
ments, et Merits divers. 8 vols. Paris, 1880-4. 
Oncken, W. Oesterrich und Preussen in Befreiungskriege, Vienna, 

1822. 2 vols. Berlin, 1876-9. 
Toll, A. Graf von. Denkwiirdigkeiten. Edited by T. von Bernhardi. 

2nd edn. 4 vols. Leipzig, 1865-6. 
Talleyrand-Pe'rigord, C. M. de, Prince de BeneVent. Mhnoires. 

Edited with Preface by the Due de Broglie. (Arranged by 

M. de Bacourt.) 5 vols. Paris, 1 891-2. 

317 



318 THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Hobhouse, J. C. The substance of some letters, etc. 2 vols. London, 

1816. 
Dayot, A. Napoleon raconte par V image. Paris, 1894. Abridged 

edn., 1895. 
Pacca, B. Cardinal. Memorie storiche del ministero, de' due viaggi in 

Francia, e dell a prigione ne l forte di S. Carlo in Fenestrelle. 

Orvieto, 1843. 
Masson, F. IJImperatrice Marie- Louise (1809-15). Paris, 1902. 
Peyrusse. Memorial el Archives de M. le Baron, 1809-15. Car- 

cassone, 1869. 
Odeleben, Freiherr E. O. von. Die Umgegend von Bautzen mit 

Bezug auf die Scklachl vom 21 und 22 Mai, 1813. Dresden, 

1817' 
Odeleben, Freiherr E. O. von. Napoleons Feldzug in Sachsen im 

Jahre, 1813. Dresden and Leipzig, 18 16, 1840. 
Aster, H. von. Schilderung der Kriegsereignisse in nnd vor Dresden 

vom 7 Mdrz bis 28 August, 181 3. Dresden and Leipzig, 1844. 
Aster, C. H. Die Gefechte und Schlachten bei Leipzig im October, 

1813. I, II. Dresden, 1852-3. 
Aster, C. H. Die Kriegsereignisse ztuischen Peierswalde . . . im 

August, 1 81 3, und der Schlacht bri Kulm. Dresden, 1845. 
Fournier, A. Der Congress von Chdtillon, 18 14. Vienna and Prague, 

1900. 
Houssaye, H. 18 14 (1 vol.), 181 5 (3 vols.). Paris, 1900-5. 
Fleury de Chaboulon, M. Napoleon en iSrj. Paris, 1819. 
Maitland, Captain F. L. Narrative of the surrefider of Buonaparte, 

and of his residence on board H.M.S. Bellerophon. London, 

1826." 
Silvestre, T. De Waterloo a Sainte-Hdlem. Paris, 1904. 
Ussher, Sir T. Napoleon's last voyages: Elba and St. Helena. 

London, 1895. 
Gruyer, P. Napoleon, Roi de Vile d'Elbe. Paris, 1905. 



CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE 



June. War between France and Russia. Napoleon's March 

on Moscow. 

September. Battle of Borodino. Napoleon enters Moscow. 

„ The burning of Moscow. 

October. French Evacuation of Moscow. The retreat begins. 

„ Malet's plot in Paris. 

November. The crossing of the Berezina. 

December. Napoleon reaches Paris. 

1813. 

January. Concordat of Fontainebleau. 

February. Convention of Kalisch (Russia and Prussia). 

Feb.-March. The War of Liberation opens. 

May. Battle of Bautzen. 

May-August. Armistice in Germany. 

June. Battles of Vittoria and the Pyrenees. 

„ Treaty of Reichenbach (Russia, Prussia, and Austria). 

August. Battle of Dresden. 

September. Battle of Kulm. Treaty of Teplitz (Austria and 

Prussia). 

October. Battle of Leipzig. 

Oct.-Nov. Wellington crosses the Pyrenees into France. 

1814. 
February. Conference of Chatillon-sur-Seine. 

March. Treaty of Chaumont. Battle of Laon, 

„ The Allies enter Paris and establish a Provisional 

Government. 
April. Abdication of Napoleon. Louis XVIII returns to 

Paris. 
May. First Peace of Paris. 

September. The Congress of Vienna meets. 

319 



320 

1815. 
March. 
March-June. 
June 1 6. 

„ 1 8. 

July. 

October. 
November. 

1821. 
May 5. 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 

Return of Napoleon. Flight of Louis XVIII. 

The Hundred Days. 

Battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras. 

Battle of Waterloo. 

Second Abdication of Napoleon. 

Second French Revolution. Return of Louis XVIII. 

Napoleon lands on St. Helena. 

Second Peace of Paris. 

Death of Napoleon. 



INDEX 



Aberdeen, Lord, 73, 74, 94, 96, 105, 
107, 108 

Adye, Captain, 157, 158 

Alexander, Emperor, 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, 
19, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 35, 40, 
45, 46, 47, 48, 56, 64, 66, 71, 73, 
74, 75, 78, 79, 80, 83, 91, 92, 93, 
98, 101, 102, 103, 104, 106, 107, 

IO9, IIO, 112, 115, I23, 125, I30, 

*3*, 133, 135, 136, 150, 186, 192 
Ali, 145 

Allix, General, 91, 263 
Alten, General, 244, 251, 267 
Althorp, Lord, 199 
Andrieux, 160 
Angouieme, Duke of, 168 
— Duchess of, 186 
Anne, Grand Duchess, 1 12 
Antommarchi, 189 
Arcis-sur-Aube, 123, 124 
Arndt, Father, 8, 9 
Arrighi, 53 

Aube, 88, 91, 117, 123 
Augereau, 7, 8, 91, 106, 107, 114, 

117, 120, 121, 141, 218, 224 

Barclay de Tolly, 45, 47, 49, 92 
Bar-sur-Aube, 87, 88, 90, 106, 107, 

114, 116, 120, 123, 127 
Bathurst, Lord, 290, 308 
Baudin, 300 
Bausset, 150 

Bautzen, 26, 29, 30, 36, 57 
Bavaria, King of, 56 
Beker, General, 285, 286, 287, 290, 

292, 293, 295, 296, 300, 301, 305 
Bellegarde, Count, 12, 13, 82 
Belliard, General, 129 
Beningsen, 76 

Bentinck, Lord William, 28, 82 
Bernadotte, 35, 36, 40, 48, 52, 54, 

55, 60, 62, 69, 76, 80, 82, 83, 91, 

92,93, 107, 116, 13I 



Bernburg, 22, 23 

Berry, Duke of, 102, 168, 174, 177, 
178, 179, 180 

Berry-au-Bac, 118, 120 

Berthier, 31, 70, 72, 98, 105, 106, 
114, 128, 134, 185, 224, 225 

Bertrand, 23, 53, 62, 69, 78, 141, 
142, 143, 144, 145, I4 6, 156, 158, 
163, 167, 175, 253, 272, 277, 286, 
293> 297, 302, 315 

Besancon, 80, 87, 103, 104 

Besnadiere, 15 

Bessieres, Marshal, 23 

Bethmann, Simon Moritz, 72 

Bianchi, General, 114, 202, 228 

Blacas, Comte de, 180, 185 

Blucher, Prince, 9, 21, 24, 35, 43, 
44, 48, 51, 52, 54, 57, 59, 60, 62, 
66, 67, 75, 76, 77, 79, 80, 87, 88, 
89, 90, 9i, 92, 97, 98, 100, 106, 
107, 108, 114, 116, 117, 118, 119, 
120, 121, 122, 125, 127, 131, 226, 
227, 229, 231, 232, 233, 236, 237, 
238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 248, 250, 
255, 266, 272, 273, 275, 290 

— Colonel, 59 
Bonaparte, Caroline, 82, 149 

— Elisa, 114, 145, 191 

— Jerome, 153, 191, 215, 218, 260, 
262, 286 

— Joseph, 81, 85, 95, 99, 106, in, 
128, 130, 132, 153, 191, 206, 210, 
215, 218, 219, 273, 278, 282, 283, 
286 

— Lucien, 206, 215, 218, 278, 279, 
281, 282, 283, 286 

— Pauline, 141, 146, 149, 158, 159, 
191 

Bonnefoux, 294, 295, 296, 304 
Bonstett, 21 
Borghese, Prince, 145 
Bourbon, Due de, 186 
Bourienne, 179 



321 



322 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 



Bourmont, 175, 232, 233, 239 
Brienne, 87, 88 
Brune, Marshal, 218, 224 
Brunswick, 6, 56 

— Duke of, 238, 243 

Bubna, Count, 13, 14, 26, 28, 29, 38, 
78, 80 

— General, 91, 117 

Billow, 53, 54, 76, 79, 83, 96, 107, 
116, 117, 231, 237, 255, 262, 266, 
274 

Bunbury, Sir Henry, 311, 314 

Burdett, Sir Francis, 197 

Burghersh, Lord, HO, 141 

Byng, 237 

Cabanis, 151 
Cafarelli, 78 
Cambaceres, 2, 5, 14, 18, 23, 78, 85, 

132, 184, 215, 218, 278 
Cambronne, 145, 150, 158, 163, 164, 

165, 166, 169, 271 
Campbell, Sir Neil, 138, 139, 140, 

141, 146, 156, 157, 158, 159, 195 
Canning, 79 
Carnot, 40, 83, 116, 184, 206, 210, 

216, 220, 278, 280, 283, 285, 292 
Castlereagh, Lord, 28, 74, 79, 91, 92, 

93, 95, 98, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 

107, 108, 109, no, 154, 155, 192, 
194, 195, 196, 201, 289, 307, 308, 

309 
Cathcart, Lord, 74, 94, 108, 194 
Caulaincourt, 14, 26, 30, 31, 36, 37, 
38, 60, 68, 70, 73, 77, 78, 8o } 91, 
92, 95, 96, 97, 98, 101, 105, 107, 

108, no, in, 112, 113, 114, 115, 
128, 129, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 
139, 152, 184, 191, 192, 201, 206, 
212, 216, 277, 278, 279, 281 

Champagny, 15 
Champaubert, 88, 89 
Chaptal, 218 

Chatillon-sur-Seine, 92, 94, 95, 98, 
101, 102, 104, 106, 107, 108, 114, 

"5 

Chaumont, 87, 91, 95, 107, 108, no 
Chauvelin, 206 
Chemichev, 17, 22, 58, 96 
Clancarty, Lord, 194 
Clarke, 118, 128, 132, 172 
Clausel, 223, 225 
Clinton, 237 
Colloredo, 45 



Cond£, Due de, 178, 185 

Condorcet, 151 

Constant, Benjamin, 205, 210, 211, 

220 
Corbineau, 50, 277 
Corsica, 95, 139, 148 
Corvisart, 150, 151, 152, 291 
Craonne, in, 119, 121 
Cuneo d'Ornano, Colonel, 163 
Czartoryski, 75 

Dalberg, Prince Primate, 34 

— Duke, 131 

Darnley, Lord, 200 

d'Artois, Count, 102, 130, 168, 172, 

177, 178, 180, 295 
Daru, 181, 206 
Davout, 23, 25, 26, 83, 119, 179, 

i8r, 184, 185, 216, 218, 223, 225, 

278, 279, 285, 290 
Decaen, 223 
De Coster, 260, 271 
Decres, 181, 184, 212, 216, 278, 279, 

284, 288, 291, 295, 296 
Delessart, 169, 170 
Dennewitz, 53, 55, 59 
D'Erlon, 236, 240, 241, 243, 244, 

245, 246, 252, 263, 292 
Desaix, 53 

Diebich, General, 6, 7, 107, 125, 126 
Donzelot, 243, 263 
Doria, Cardinal, 3 
Dornberg, 233 
Doulevant, 127 
Dresden, 17, 18, 19, 22, 25, 26, 32, 

34, 36, 37, 38, 41, 42, 44, 45, 47, 

48, 51, 57, 58, 59, %, 193 
Drouot, General, 142, 143, 145, 146, 

156, 158, 161, 163, 247, 259, 268, 

272 
Diiben, 59, 63, 67 
Duhesme, General, 143, 144 
Duka, 74, 106 
Dumoulin, Jean, 170 
Duras, Due de, 180 
Durutte, 243, 263 
Duvoisin, Bishop of Nantes, 3 

Elba, 95, 110, 113, 136, 137, 138, 
139, 140, 142, 143, 146, 147, 150, 
151, 152, 153, 173, 174, 177, 182, 
193, 194, 196, 197, 205, 222 

Emery, 166 

Esterhazy, Paul, 1 10, 150 



INDEX 



323 



Eugene, Prince, 7, 14, 17, 18, 22, 23, 
24, 25, 30, 81, 82, 105, in, 114, 
116, 137, 153, 203, 218 

Eugene, Prince of Wurtemberg, 45, 
47, 49, 64, 65 

Exelmans, 179, 185, 247, 248, 249, 

275 

Fabier, Colonel, 120 
Ferdinand VII, 80, 81, 94, 1 12 
Fesch, Cardinal, 218, 291 
Flahaut, 106, 179, 188, 236, 241, 

272, 284, 290, 291 
Fleury de Chaboulon, 156, 157, 283 
Floret, 97, 98, 112, 114 
Fontaine, 214 

Fontainebleau, 3, 4, 5> 80, 9 6 , i2 7> 
128, 129, I33> 135, 137, 138, 145, 
149, 150, 152, 180, 195, 196 
— Concordat of, 4 
Fouche, 18, 179, 191, 206, 212, 278, 
279, 280, 282, 286, 287, 288, 291, 
292, 294, 304 
Fourier, 169 

Francis, Emperor, 2, 15, 26, 32, 36, 
56, 64, 67, 71, 74, 82, 92, 93, 101, 
105, 107, 151 
Frederick August, King of Saxony, 19 
Frederick William, King of Ger- 
many, 6, 8, 9, 11, 35, 47» 76, 9 2 » 
103, 104, 107 
Friccius, Major, 83 
Frimont, 228 
Frochot, 2 

Galbois, Colonel, 149 

Gamot, 176 

Gassendi, 218 

Gaudin, 184, 278 

Gerard, 26, 230, 232, 239, 240, 255, 

256, 258, 273 
Giraud, General, 177 
Gneisenau, 11, 75, 77> 92, 9 8 » 22 7, 

238, 249, 251 
Gourgaud, 30, 44, 277, 286, 296, 

300, 301, 302, 303 
Gregoire, 218 
Grenville, Lord, 195 
Grollmann, 107 

Gross-Beeren, Battle of, 40, 5 2 > 53 
Grouchy, 89, 215, 218, 221, 231, 235, 

236, 239, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 

253, 255, 261, 262, 264, 268, 269, 

273> 2 74, 2 76, 292 



Guasco, 167 
Guignes, 90 

Hanau, 71, 72 

Hardenberg, 6, 10, 38, 56, 74, 75, 

76, 92, 94, 98, 102, 107, in 
Hatzfeld, Prince, 8, 35 
Hauterive, 15, 206, 208 
Hesse, Elector of, 41 

— Grand Duke of, 34 

— Prince of, 117, 120 
Hill, Lord, 231, 251 

Hobhouse, J. C, 207, 209, 214, 217, 

218, 219 
Hortense, Queen, 181, 187, 214, 218, 

284, 285, 287, 292, 293 
Hotham, Admiral, 294, 298, 299, 

305, 306 
Hudelot, 92 
Hugo, General, 205 
Humboldt, 36, 38, 56, 74> 75. 94> 

105, 108, in 

Jacobi, 28 

Jahn, Ludwig Friedrich, 39 

Jermanowski, Colonel, 143, 1 45 

Jerome, King, 58 

Jomini, 43, 90 

Josephine, Empress, 137, 148? 187, 

287, 292 
Jourdan, 186, 215, 218, 224 

Kalisch, 10, 18, 22 

— Treaty of, 17 

Katzbach, 43> 44, 5 1 , 5 2 > 54 

Keith, Lord, 307, 311, 313 

Kellermann, Duke of Valmy, 16, 17, 

65, 218, 236, 244, 266 
Kempt, 237, 257, 263 
Kiel, Treaty of, 80 
Kleist, 8, 9, 30, 43, 45» 49, 5<>, $4, 

65, 120 
Klenau, 43, 64, 65 
Knesebeck, 9, 10, 74, 92, 106, 107, 

190, 227, 273 
Korner, Theodor, 39 
Kulm, 48, 49, 50, 58 
Kutosov, 5, 6, 10, 22 

La Bedoyere, 171, 1 82, 225, 236, 

269, 277, 286, 291 
La Besnadiere, 112 
Lacepede, 2, 218 



324 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 



Lafayette, 278, 280, 281, 282 

Laffray, 169 

Lafitte, Jacques, 286 

Laharpe, 75, 79, 93 

Lallemand, 294, 301 

Lameth, 218 

Lamouret, Captain, 162, 164 

La Mure, 167, 169 

Lancival, Louis de, 209 

Langeron, 121 

Langres, 79, 87, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 

96, 107 
Lanjuinais, 217, 278, 284 
Lannes, 53 
Lanskoi, 23 

Laon, no, 118, 120, 121, 221 
Lapoype, General, 54 
La Rothiere, 88, 95, 116 
Las Cases, 205, 284, 286, 295, 296, 

297. 298, 301, 302, 303 
Lauriston, General, 44, 65 
Lavalette, 179, 181, 218, 286, 288, 

291 
Lebrun, 218 
Lebzeltern, 19 
Lecourbe, 175 

Lefebvre, 134, 1 81, 218, 224 
Leipzig, 24, 25, 43, 59, 60, 63, 66, 

67, 68, 70, 87 
~~ Battle of, 61, 62, 72, 73, 77, 81, 

82 
Lichtenstein, Prince, 1 3, 91, 106 
— Wenzel, 150 
Liebertwolkwitz, 63, 64, 67 
Liverpool, Lord, 154, 200, 289, 307, 

308", 309 
Lobau, 58, 59, 230, 236, 240, 247, 

248, 266 
Loubers, Captain, 167 
Louis XVIII, 101, 102, 103, 130, 

144, 155, 168, 177, 181, 185, 197, 

203, 222, 223, 224, 225, 284 
Louis, Baron, 131 
Louise, Princess, 77 
Lowe, Sir Hudson, 310 
Lutzen, 23, 24, 28, 41 
Lutzow, 39 
Lyndoch, Lord, 232 

Macdonald, Marshal, 6, 23, 43, 44, 
5i, 5 2 > 57, 65, 70, 87, 90, 117, 120, 
121, 122, 123, 134, 135, 139, 168, 
172, 185, 186, 224 

Mailly, 122 



Maison, General, 107, 1 16 
Maitland, Captain, 297, 298, 299, 
301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 309, 

3", 315 

Malet, 1, 2 

Mannheim, Congress of, 83 

Marchand, General, 169, 171, 182 

Maret, 14, 15, 19, 68, 72, 77, 78, 80, 
95, 98, 114, 134, 156, 157, 179, 
184, 201, 206, 225, 259, 278, 284, 
286, 291 

Maria Carolina of Naples, 152 

Marie Louise, Empress, I, 12, 15, 
18, 19, 23, 27, 34, 80, 97, 115, 
130, 132, 137, 149, 150, 152, 156, 
188, 190 

Marie-Louises, 86, 87 

Mariotti, 155 

Marmont, 23, 26, 43, 45, 48, 51, 61, 
62, 63, 66, 67, 87, 88, 89, 91, 117, 
119, 120, 121, 122, 126, 128, 129, 
133, 134, 139, 179, 180 

Marsin, Marshal, 218 

Massena, 156, 168, 174, 182, 224 

Massenbach, 7 

Maximilian, King, 56 

Mecklenburg, Duke of, 1 1 

Meerveldt, General, 67, 6$, 73, 75 

Meneval, 152, 189, 192, 284 

Mere, Madame, 146, 148, 158, 218 

Mery, 123 

Metternich, Prince, 12, 13, 19, 20, 
26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 36, 37, 38, 48, 
56, 7i, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 

80, 91, 92, 93, 98, 101, 102, 103, 
104, 105, 107, 109, no, in, 112, 
113, 114, 115, 137, 150, 155, 192, 
289 

Milhaud, 248, 265 

Molitor, 83 

Mollien, 14, 184, 206, 218, 220, 278 

Moncey, 134, 135, 218, 224 

Montalivet, 218 

Montesquiou, Madame de, 192 

Montholon, 205, 284, 286, 295, 299, 

302 
Moreau, 35, 43, 45, 54 
Mortier, 47, 57, 65, 87, 91, 117, 122, 

126, 128, 129, i86,|2i8, 224 
Muffling, 237, 268 
Mulini, Palace of, 144, 158, 159 
Murat, 7, 8, 13, 14, 28, 44, 45, 48, 

53i 59, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 70, 72, 

81, 82, 156, 187, 202, 203, 224 



INDEX 



325 



Naples, King of, 7, 65, 70, 81 
Napoleon, return to Paris, 1 ; visits 
the Pope at Fontainebleau, 3; 
leaves Paris, 22; rights battle of 
Lutzen, 24 ; battle of Bautzen, 26 ; 
makes armistice of Pleiswitz, 30 ; 
interview with Metternich, 32 ; 
battle of Dresden, 44 ; at Diiben, 
59 foil. ; battle of Leipzig, 63 
foil. ; battle of Hanau, 71 ; at 
Frankfort, 72; returns to Paris, 
80 ; opens Corps Legislatif, 83 ; 
leaves Paris, 85; at Nogent-sur- 
Seine, 98 ; leaves Rheims, 122 ; 
battle of Arcis-sur-Aube, 123 ; at 
St. Dizier, 125 ; at La Cour de 
France, 129 ; returns to Fontaine- 
bleau, 133 ; leaves Fontainebleau, 
140 ; arrives at Porto Ferrajo, 142 ; 
leaves Elba, 159 ; lands at Golfe 
Juan, 163 ; at Grasse, 165 ; at 
Laffray, 169 ; at Grenoble, 171 J 
at Lyons, 172; meets Ney, 176; 
reaches the Tuileries, 181 ; pub- 
lishes Acte additionnel, 212 ; 
holds Champ de Mai, 214 ; leaves 
Paris, 230 ; fights battle of Ligny, 
239 foil. ; Waterloo, 257 foil. ; 
arrives at Paris, 277; goes to 
Malmaison, 285 ; at Rambouillet, 
292; at Rochefort, 295; at He 
d'Aix, 296; on the Bellerophon, 
304; at Plymouth, 310; trans- 
ferred to the Northumberland, 312 

Napoleon III, 206, 215, 221 

Nassau, Duke of, 34, 35 

Neipperg, Count, 82, 153, 190, 202 

Nesselrode, 74, 75, 9 2 > 93, 9 8 , io2 > 
103, 107, 131, 137, 192 

Ney, Marshal, 1, 7, 22, 23, 24, 25, 
26, 27, 45, 52, 53, 54, 55, ^ 67, 
68, 69, 87, 108, 122, 134, 135, 136, 
168, 174, 175, 176, 177, 179, 181, 
218, 224, 225, 234, 235, 236, 239, 
240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 240, 
247, 248, 250, 251, 252, 259, 263, 
264, 266, 267, 269, 271, 277 

Nollendorf, 48, 50, 59 

Odeleben, 60 
Olsuviev, 88 

Orange, Prince of, 83, 94, 185, 203, 
226, 231, 237, 242 

Y 2 



Orleans, Due d', 102, 168, 172, 177, 

178, 179, 185, 215, 284 
Orsvault, Marquis d', 141 
Osnabruck, 18 
Ostermann, Count, 47, 49 
Otto, 14, 19, 289 
Oudinot, 26, 40, 5 2 » 53> 54> 89, 90, 

117, 120, 186, 218, 224 

Paar, Colonel, 105, 106 

Pacca, Cardinal, 5 

Pajol, 225, 233, 246, 247, 249, 276 

Perponcher, 238, 242, 251 

Peterswalde, 42, 43, 47, 57, 5 g , 59 

Petit, General, 140, 271 

Peyrusse, 143, 145, l6l > l66 

Picton, 237, 238, 242, 251, 257, 263 

Pius VII, Pope, 3, 5, ^ 80, 95 

Pleisse, 64, 65, 69, 70 

Ponee, Captain, 299, 300 

Poniatowski, 42, 70 

Pons de l'Herault, 144, 148, I53» 

157, 166 
Ponsonby, Mr., 198, 237 
Porto Ferrajo, 142, 144, 145, H7, 

149, 156, 159, l6o » l6l > l62 > l8 3, 

3°7 
Porto Longone, 148 
Pozzo di Borgo, 74, 79, 92, 94, 103, 

in, 237 
Pradt, Abbe* de, 131I 
Prince Regent, no, 192, 194, 196, 

201, 202, 241, 301, 302, 303, 314 
Prussia, King of, 30, 38, 48, 49, 6 4, 

71, 93, 102, 106 

Radetzky, 44, 75, io 7 

Randon, Captain, 170 

Raoul, 169 

Rauch, 106 

Rayneval, 97 

Regnault de Saint Jean dAngely, 

181, 279, 280, 282 
Regnier, 53 
Reichenbach, 31 
Ried, Treaty of, 57 
Reille, 179, 230, 234, 236, 240, 242, 

243, 259, 260, 264, 292 
Rhine, Confederation of the, 10, 15, 

27, 28, 29, 3h 37, 55, 57, 58, 72, 

73,8o 
Ridley, Sir W. M., 201 
Roederer, 218 



326 



THE FALL OF NAPOLEON 



Rome, King of, I, 2, 18, 29, 80, 95, 
99, 130* l 3 2 , J 34> 1S8, 192, 283, 
284 

Roostan, 145 

Rosumovsky, 94, 96, 98, 105, 108 

Sacken, 88, 89 

St. Aignan, Baron, 73> 75, 77, 78 

St. Cyr, General, 17, 42, 44, 47, 51, 

58,59 
St. Helena, 30, 155, 171, 189, 205, 

225, 308, 309, 314, 316 
Saint Marsan, 8, 11 
Saint Priest, 121 
Sardinia, King of, 41 
Savary, 1, 14, 34, 85, 184, 284, 286, 

288, 291, 293, 298, 302, 309, 311, 

315 
Saxe- Weimar, Duke of, 116 

— Prince Bernard of, 235, 257 
Saxony, King of, 22, 25, 59, 63, 66, 

69, 70, 105 

Scharnhorst, 6, 9, 10, 21, 24 

Schleiermacher, 39 

Schwarzenberg, 13, 18, 19, 40, 41, 
44, 46, 47, 48, 57, 64, 65, 66, 75, 
76, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 101, 105, 
106, 107, no, 120, 121, 122, 124, 
125, 131, 134, 135, 190, 227 

Sebastiani, General, 288 

Segur, 181, 216, 218 

Senhouse, Captain, 306 

Sheridan, 199 

Shuvalov, 30, 106, 150 

Sicily, King of, 104 

Sieves, 218 

Sommepuis, 125, 126 

Sorel, 109 

Souham, 23, 135 

Soult, 30, 114, 116, 172, 182, 215, 
225, 239, 242, 246, 248, 249, 259, 
262, 266, 272, 274 

Stadion, 28, 74, 92, 94, 98, 108, 1 10, 
in, 113, 114 

Stanhope, Lord, 195 

Starsiedel, 24 

Steffens, 39 

Stein, Baron, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 56, 
74, 75, 77, 80, 93, 94 

Stettin, 8, 18, 22, 35 

Stewart, 74, 79, 94, 96, 97 

— Lord, 194, 287, 288 
Stoetteritz, 68 
Strasburg, 16, 75, 125 



Strehlen, 45 

Suchet, Marshal, 116, 186, 223, 224 

Sweden, Crown Prince of, 35, 69 4 

Taillade, Lieutenant, 145, 155, 160, 

162 
Talleyrand, 14, 78, 85, 99, 130, 131, 

134, 135, 154, 155, 172, 180, 187, 

192 
Talma, 291 
Tauenzien, 53, 54, 76 
Tauroggen, Convention of, 7 
Teplitz, 41, 43, 47, 49, 55, 56, 58 

— Treaty of, 73, 78 
Teschen, 43 
Teste, 248 

Tettenborn, Colonel, 17, 22 
Thielmann, 253, 255, 274, 275 
Thierry, Chateau, 88, 89 
Tierney, 199 
Torgau, 22, 54, 76 
Trachenberg, 35, 40, 51, 57 
Trautmannsdorf, 13 
Tuileries, 16, 53, 85, 179, 180, 182, 
186, 191, 207, 219, 220, 224, 281 

Ussher, Captain, 141 

Valaze, 256 

Valeneay, Chateau of, 80, 116 

Valentinois, Duke of, 164 

Valmy, Duke of, 16 

Vandamme, 23, 42, 44, 47, 48, 50, 
51, 108, 223, 230, 232, 233, 235, 
249, 250, 255, 256, 275, 276, 292 

Vernonfays, 120 

Vetter, 63 

Victor, 45, 48, 65, 87, $8^ 90, 186 

— II, 42 

— VIII, 42 

Vitry-le-Francois, 89, 123, 126, 1 27 
Vittoria, Battle of, 33 
Volkonsky, 92 

Walewska, Madame, 148, 291 

Wallis, Count, 13 

Warsaw, Grand Duchy of, 15, 19, 

27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 37, 56, 78 
Waterloo, 314, 315 
Webley, Captain, 306, 307 
Weimar. See Saxe- Weimar 
Weisseritz, 45 
Wellesley, 79, 196, 200 



INDEX 



327 



Wellington, 53, 76, 114, "6, 138, 
190, 194, 201, 203, 226, 227, 229, 
231, 233, 235, 237, 238, 242, 247, 
250, 255, 258, 259, 260, 264, 265, 
266, 269, 270, 272, 273, 287, 288, 
290, 309 

Wesel, 16, 18, ill 

Wessenberg, 19, 28, 115 

Westphalia, King of, 95, 105 

Whitbread, Mr., 194, 199, 200 

Wilber force, 201 

Winzingerode, General, 21, 107, 116, 
117, 118, 126, 127 



Wittgenstein, 6, 17, 21, 22, 24, 57, 

59,90 
Wolkonsky, 74, 107, 190 
Wrede, 76, 79, 80, 90 
Wright, Captain, 315 
Wurtemberg, Prince of, 26 

York, General, 6, 7, 8, 9, 21, 39, 43, 
88,89 

Ziethen, 231, 232, 233, 250, 253, 

255, 268, 269 
Zinnwalde, 43, 47 



The Boyhood and Youth 

OF 

NAPOLEON 

Some chapters on the Life of Buonaparte, 1 769-1793 

By OSCAR BROWNING, M.A. 

Crown 8vo. 5s. net. 

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NAPOLEON'S CAMPAIGN IN POLAND, 1806- 

1807. A Military History of Napoleon's First War with 
Russia, verified from unpublished official documents. By 
F. Loraine Petre, With 16 Full-page Illustrations, 
Maps and Plans. New Edition. Demy 8vo. 12s. 6d. net. 

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and all authorities are judicially weighed. The references and 
copious foot-notes are admirable. . . . The maps are clear and 
excellent. . . . And the descriptions of the more striking episodes 
are as picturesque as they are vivid and lucid." 

Contemporary Review,— 11 1 do not know whether Mr. Petre 
has had actual experience of war, but his battle-pieces are singu- 
larly graphic, the description of the Battle of Eylau, in particular, 
being almost as good as the masterpieces of Carlyle and 
Tolstoi. . . . The work is a valuable addition to the histories of 
the Napoleonic wars." 

Army and Navy Gazette.-— "We have read his book with ex- 
treme interest, and have a very high opinion of the masterly way 
in which he has assembled his materials, the skill with which he 
has balanced the opinions of various writers, and the ability with 
which he has brought out his conclusions." 

Athenceum. — "The military student will be well repaid by a 
perusal of this excellent narrative of one of the greatest schemes 
in the history of warfare." 



NAPOLEON'S CONQUEST OF PRUSSIA, 1806. 

By F. Loraine Petre, Author of " Napoleon's Campaign 
in Poland, 1806-7." With an Introduction by Field- 
Marshal Earl Roberts, K.G., V.C., etc. With 16 
Full-page Illustrations, numerous Maps, Battle Plans, and 
Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 12s, 6d. net. 

%* The campaign of Jena, with which this volume deals, was certainly 
Napoleon's most complete and decisive success, even if its supremacy, 
as a chef d'oeuvre of military art, is rivalled by the campaigns of 
1796 and others. It is described more fully than in any previous English 
work, and the best Continental criticisms of its strategy and tactics are 
fully stated and discussed. It is of the highest interest not only to the 
military student, hut also to all Englishmen ; for it affords the most 
striding object lesson of the disastrous consequences which may fall upon 
a nation which is unprepared for contemporary war, and relies with 
overweening confidence on an antiquated military system. 



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